applying for jobs online

On average, only 10% of online job searches are successful.

Conventional wisdom holds that only 10% of internet job searchers are successful. Concentrating exclusively on online job boards means you have almost no chance of getting hired.

And though there’s not a lot of research on the subject, odds are probably even worse for expats.

3 reasons why:

  • Online job applications are a poor trade-off in terms of time for results. If you apply “blind” for a job you will probably have to complete an entire application up front. That’s at least a couple hours’ investment with no guarantee your application will ever get read.
  • Many recruiters don’t ever read online applications. A dirty secret of many human resource departments, especially at big companies, is they won’t even give applications a look without a referral. Instead they’re used to prove the company has “looked” at a number of applicants.
  • Cover letters rarely impress. Contrary to popular belief, a cover letter is rarely going to get a recruiter’s attention. Even the best cover letter will almost never get you an interview on its own. But a bad one can always sink you. So if you’re spending hours and hours on polishing a cover letter to perfection, you’re almost certainly wasting your time.

This isn’t to say you will never get a job through an online listing. It can happen. But if you’re putting the majority of your effort into internet job searches chances are it could be better spent elsewhere.

Ideally you should spend 50-80% of your effort on personal networking and direct contacts. These methods are far more likely to land you a job, or at least get you that vital referral.