job search strategy

Use This 10X Job Search Strategy

Every once in a while, a picture comes along that shows a job search strategy story much better than telling it.

You’ve been told to network to find your next job so many times you might be inclined to tune out when someone mentions it.

But has anyone ever shown you just how powerful a job search strategy networking is? Probably not.

The Study

Lever, a recruitment marketing firm, conducted a 1-year source-of-hire efficiency study (more here).

The Results

Guess what? The companies in the study hired 1 of every 16 candidates referred to them.

10X Job Search Strategy

Say Goodbye to the Black Hole

The companies hired one of every 152 candidates who applied through their applicant tracking systems (aka The Black Hole).

One out of 152 is a 0.66% chance of being hired.

That sucks. Why would you accept those odds? You’re better than that.

Think of It Like Flying

Referral = First Class

External Recruiter Submittal = Business Class

Internal Recruiter Sourced = Economy Plus

Applicant Tracking System = Basic Economy, Middle Seat, Last Row, Crying Baby

How do you want to travel through your job search?

Use This Job Search Strategy

Networking (i.e., being referred) gives you the best odds, a 6.5% chance of being hired.

Do that. It’s your best bet.

Don’t believe me? Look at the chart. Cold, hard data.

Networking Ups Your Odds of Being Hired 10X

The companies in the study hired referred candidates 9.5 times more often than applicants. You can round 9.5X up to 10X.

Why Does the Networking Job Search Strategy Work?

Because it helps you figure your search out with help from others.

You set up a virtuous loop of ideas, leads, introductions, execution, feedback, and improvement.

Networking through your job search puts you in your own personal moonshot!

Networking Delivers

True, it’s full of rejection and failure, but you’ll also find diamonds.

You have to put yourself out there and know that not everyone will “get” you. Expect it. It’s not personal. It’s just the way it is.

You’ve heard about Thomas Edison’s failure rate on the light bulb, right? 1,000 attempts before he nailed it.

Elton John and Bernie Taupin have written over 1,000 songs. About 50 made it to the Top 40. That’s a 5% success rate — pretty close to that 6.5% number above. They’ve sold over 300 million albums.

What will you do?

Take Your Moonshot

Go ahead, take your moonshot.

If you’re wondering how to start, a recent study published by the Harvard Business Review found that former colleagues are the best sources of new jobs.

Make some magic for yourself.


If you still want to submit your resume through an applicant tracking system, read this scathing 2018 takedown of ATSs by former Accenture Partner, Brian Sommer: The Dumb ATS.

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Image: denisismagilov
Updated June 2021

© 2018 – 2022, Donna Svei. All rights reserved.

Comments 6

  1. Spot on, Donna. The last time I ran into an ATS, I used LinkedIn InMail to do an end-run. That works like a charm.

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