October 14th was my last day at my previous position when I was living back east. After driving back across the country and unpacking, for argument’s sake let’s say I officially started my job search on November 15th. I will be starting my new position here in California on February 16th, three months of job searching but four months after I left my previous position.

There are the holidays to factor into my particular experience because people take time off and there are months’ and year’s end to deal with, but almost the entire time I was looking, there were jobs posted that I was applying to. I even tried cold calling into several local companies looking for positions with no luck. Between Craigslist, Monster.com, Careerbuilder.com, Jobfox.com, and myriad marketing job sites, I ultimately found my position via Craigslist. Ironically, I had earlier checked the website of the organization I now work for, with no luck. And, to give full disclosure, I was a part of the student end of the organization while in high school so it’s not a completely random match.

Any background you need to know is that this is my fourth post-college position, I worked as a writer, recruiter and marketer before this so I wasn’t clearly going in any one direction. On top of that I am, as of right now, only about a year and a half out of college and now have what looks like a three month gap in my resume. So with that in consideration, I will now entertain with statistics, not my strong suit.

Let us assume that I searched for jobs Monday through Friday for about 25-30 hours each week. That number may be higher or lower depending on the week, and of course much lower during the holidays. During that time, I applied to as many as maybe 20 jobs in a day and perhaps as few as three if that’s all I could find. Since it was more often well under 20 applications, let’s say the average jobs applied to per day was eight.

Looking at my magic date calculation tool– just kidding, it’s my planner– I figure there were really only nine solid weeks that I was applying for jobs, five days a week is 45 days of applying for jobs. Eight jobs a day is 360 jobs applied for. “But that’s high,” you say? Okay, let’s say I had only found an average of seven jobs per day, that’s 315, so let’s use the round number of 300 jobs applied for.

Of those 300 jobs applied for, I had six interviews, that’s a 2% interview rate, but it’s even lower if I really did apply for over 300 jobs. From those six interviews I received only ONE offer which means I have a 16% success rate of getting an offer after an interview. Or, from applied to offer, a success rate of .3%.

While searching for jobs I spoke to or met with at least five recruiters, two got me an interview but I did back out of another so maybe we can count that as three interviews, but not really. Of the six interviews I went on, four, or 66% were found on Craigslist. The other two were through recruiters who found me on Careerbuilder.

What does this all mean? Well, there’s a good possibility I’d still be looking if I didn’t have an association with the organization I now work for, so that’s not a good sign. But it does mean that the mainstream job boards like Monster and Careerbuilder aren’t really working. I still think if you’re an active candidate it’s important to have your resume there because recruiters do look there, but it may not get you a job. Smaller companies, the kind I prefer to work for, more often than not post on Craigslist because it’s cheaper than one of those big job boards. When I was in recruiting I found out how much it costs for one annual account (one person can use one account at a time) on the big job boards, and it’s a couple hundred dollars WITH a staffing company’s discount.

Maybe it is all about networking? If I hadn’t been in a certain club in high school, I may not have a job right now. When you’re looking for a job you’ve got to try and turn over every rock, and it’s that one you think you already turned over that the job is hiding under.

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