Is The Job Search a Numbers Game?

Yes. And no.  Well, kind of.

It depends on what numbers you are talking about.  If you are doing the right things consistently, with purpose and focus, then maybe it can be a numbers game.  If you are doing the wrong things just to hit certain numbers, you’ll be more frustrated than you can imagine.

Alison Doyle has a great post titled Job Searching By the Numbers.  In the post she shares numbers tracked by Caryn.  Here are some examples of  things she tracked:

  • Jobs she applied to, and how the 105 she applied to online worked out
  • Networking, and how many opportunities she got from her network
  • How many she got from staffing agencies, and what happened

Spoiler: she accepted one of the two opportunities she found from a staffing agency that found her from LinkedIn.

So all of the jobs she found and applied to online, or through her network, led to nothing, but someone found her on LinkedIn and she got and accepted an offer.

So was it a numbers game?  Maybe she was only 10% into the number of jobs she should have applied to, or the resumes she sent out?  Maybe she didn’t meet enough people in networking, and didn’t ask “who do you know” and ask for introductions…

The reason I’m writing this post is because I think that the job search CAN BE a numbers game, if you are doing the right stuff.  Just like a basketball game… the more shots you take towards your own basket, the higher the chances are you’ll make some.  But if you are shooting at the wrong basket, or who-knows-where, you can rack up 10,000 attempts (shots) and NOT get any closer to winning, or scoring.

So the answer to the question, is the job search a numbers game, has to consider what numbers you are considering….




1 thought on “Is The Job Search a Numbers Game?”

  1. I think keeping of job search metrics is important–although realistically, its not going to help the person IN the search. Its for their network (and for any future searches).

    I kept track similar to Caryn when I was in transition. The interesting statistic to me was advances in process with and without an employee referral. 66% of the time I moved forward in the process when I had an employee referral. The rate was reduced to <10% of submissions that moved forward when I applied without a referral (including blind ads).

    It was somewhat useful to me during that search–as it went on I started noticing that I was getting called back for a phone screen when I had someone refer me. But the real value is anyone I've spoken with since–I can share my actual results and explain why employee referrals work.

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