Has Job Hunting Always Looked Like This?
By Amy Lee Evans and Sophie Jasson-Holt
3 minute read
Tackling the Job Hunter’s Journey
Job hunting is hard, complex and frustrating. Because we don’t have a crystal ball, we decided to understand why. We knew it wouldn’t be easy. It’s a problem as big as the night sky. We were up for the challenge.
How did we begin? We spoke with struggling job hunters and recruiters, people on the frontlines who are looking for work and for talent. We are thrilled to serve up what we learned. We have been baking this bread for a while. It’s ready to be savored.
We are writing a series of blogs to blast these ideas to the world. This first installation in our blog series will focus on two things: how we did the research and peek into the past to see what has changed or not changed in the job hunting universe.
Why We Took on The Job Hunter’s Journey
We have 15+ years’ experience as tech professionals. We’ve been around the block. And we are also on the job market. We felt a seismic shift in our own personal job hunting adventures. Something was different. But, what was it? In our research, here are some of the mysteries we attempted to unravel:
- What has changed in the job search and what hasn’t?
- What are some of the most common job hunting mistakes?
- How do job hunters recover from job search missteps?
How We Did It?
We were unafraid to make mistakes. We had a thirst to learn something new, saw a topic we liked and plunged into it. Our design thinking process went like this:
A Stroll through the Evolution of Job Hunting
It was fun doing the process. And we had some amazing brainstorming sessions talking about the insights from the interviews we had. And then we remembered that not so long ago we used to do a lot more stuff with our hands. We flipped the pages of classified ads to find jobs. We used printers for resumes and burned through a lot of trees, but loved the soft linen touch of the paper.
The Internet circa 1990’s. Like we said, job hunting was once simpler than it is today. Believe us, we lived through it. In the 90’s, job hunting was all about people power, face-to-face connections. When you hand-delivered a resume, you met someone and got the chance to check out the office.
At the same time, job boards were breaking through the early days of the Internet. You could now post a resume with just the click of a button. But face-to-face networking, like having coffee with a friend was still the magic ticket to your next job.
The Internet circa 2000’s. Digital was fast becoming a part of our day to day, giving us more online choices. The good news. You could email your resume to more job sites. The not so good news. You weren’t the only one emailing your resume. “In 2008, recruiters received more than 75 resumes for each open position.”  What did not change? Tapping into the power of your face-face network, getting out and meeting people.
Digital Serves Up Tons of Job Options
The Internet circa 2017. Today we are online all the time. Recruiters receive 250 resumes per job. Social communities blur our personal and professional lives. You need to be a wizard of all things digital. And don’t forget your personal brand. Why? So you can sell yourself in 7 seconds or less online or at your next meetup. You must also find people online and offline who will hire you. Influencers. Door openers. Updating the two-dimensional resume just won’t do.
Co-Founder of Placester, Frederick Townes sums it up nicely, “To be successful in the long term, you need to have a digital destination — a website”3
So Many Jobs Sites, So Little Time
Job sites have grown astronomically. We pulled together a snapshot of the job site market to show how overwhelming it can feel.
All these choices can really make your head spin. “I need to update LinkedIn first. No, wait I just got an alert from Indeed. I need to add topics to my editorial calendar. Will I get hired with only 480 followers on Instagram? This is too much, I need a break.”
“When it comes to building your brand, it’s a jungle out there. There’s so much to manage in today’s always connected universe.” 4
Job Hunting Has Changed Over Time
So what is the key take away from this little peek down memory lane? Job hunting is more complex than it used to be.
“Technologies have made life easier, but also complicated our world.5”
What is the source of complexity?
- Lost in a sea of millions of online candidates
- Sucked into a vortex of social, personal website and resume management
- Never ending quest to master online personal brand
The good news. Face to face networking still counts for something.
In our next blog, we will share insights, really get into the nitty gritty, from the job hunters we interviewed. If you enjoyed this piece please feel free to like, comment or share it.
About the Writers
I’m a product experience leader and digital consultant. I’m passionate about user experiences and empowering teams to succeed. I’m also a foodie at heart. When I’m baking, I love to experiment with recipes to see how small changes can make a big difference. I also carry this thinking into my work life.
I’m a digital and content marketing consultant, business strategist, and builder of teams. I love tackling big problems to help drive your sales, product, program and project initiatives. I am also a chef and a recent graduate of culinary school and Salesforce training. I see where cooking, business, marketing and process intersect and love to think and write about it.
 2008 CareerBuilder.com survey
 The Road to Recognition, Seth Price and Barry Feldman. IdeaPress Publishing
 The Road to Recognition, Seth Price and Barry Feldman. IdeaPress Publishing. Author of Surviving Your Serengeti, Stefan Swanepoel.