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The 20-20-60 approach to managing your job search

July 7, 2014

job hunt career

A new approach to managing the job search

Searching for a new job can be tedious at best, but thankfully technology has given us a variety of ways to mix things up. By using social media, networking sites, and good old-fashioned searching, you can find a variety of job opportunities to fit your needs. But how much time should you spend doing these activities? And are they even helpful to a “real” job search?

A new approach by Lou Adler, HR and job search expert suggests a 20-20-60 approach, where 20% should be spent searching/applying on job boards, 20% spent getting the attention of recruiters, and 60% should be spent networking.

For the 20% of time you should spend searching and applying to jobs, try to narrow your scope down to specific keywords so that you only see the jobs that pertain to your specific area of expertise and also eliminating time that would be spent reading job postings that are not relevant to your location or field.

The next 20% of your time should be spent trying to get noticed by a recruiter. This may not work for all people. If you have recently graduated from college, spending time and money with a recruiter may not be the best use of time and money, but using sources like LinkedIn, can be a good alternative. For recent college grads, you can utilize your college’s career services connections as another good alternative to a recruiter. If you are in a highly competitive industry, however, it may be a good idea to spend researching recruiters and recruiter-based web sites.

Where the bulk of your time should be spent

The bulk of your time, 60% should be spent networking, according to Jones. Again, this may be difficult for recent grads, people who have recently changed careers, and people who are looking to move up in their industry and have yet to make the appropriate connections. Networking is difficult and it is difficult to know where to start. Again, sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and even Twitter can be useful and free. Searching for people who are in your industry, recently graduated from your college, or have recently been promoted can be invaluable resources.

It would be interesting to see how the 20-20-60 approach would work from the hiring perspective: would you spend 20% of your time trying to find the right candidate, 20% trying to attract new recruits, and 60% networking, or something else? Do you think this approach is an effective way to manage your job search time, or would it be better spent elsewhere?

Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.

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