The newsletter from Weddle came along and had a nice surprise, new numbers on what it takes to get a job. Before we throw aside everything we know to post a resume on a job board or the newspaper, let's sit back and ask some questions.
31.2% Answered an ad on a job board
10.6% Sent their resume to the company
9.3% Answered an ad in the newspaper
8.5% Responded to a tip from a friend
6.8% Were referred by an employee of the company
6.6% Received a call from a headhunter
5.1% Answered an ad posted on the company’s Web-site
4.9% Attended a career fair
4.8% Used networking at a business event
2.7% Received a call from a staffing firm
2.7% Responded to a tip from a family member
One of the problems with numbers is they are useful, but not definitive. Reading these numbers would seem to indicate that the three best ways to get a job is apply to a job board, apply to a company site, or check the newspaper.
That's not true. All the study tells us is that people who visit Weddle's website and answered a poll found jobs this way. Self-selecting polls are notoriously unreliable, as there is no scientific basis behind the selection, just people who had the time and the inclination to fill out a poll while at Weddle's site.
Don't get me wrong - everyone loves Weddle, but that doesn't mean the numbers he put out today have any significance to the employment world at large.
Some problems with the methodology that might occur.
1) Social network site users are probably not reading Weddle's to find job tips.
2) People who do not use the internet to find a job are not counted
3) Answering newspaper ads doesn't specify whether the ads or print or web. Web newspaper ads are sometimes mistaken for job boards and vice versa.
4) Multiple answers are not allowed. What if I applied for a job through a company website and then called my friend to push me through the interview process?
5) The length of time is not indicated. How long ago did these people find their jobs. 1 year? 2? 5? 10?
I like what Weddle did with the information he received. Job-seekers should use a multi-faced approach to their job-seeking. My concern is this research is going to start showing up as "proof" supporting poor conclusions. Take it for what it is - an internet poll.