Job search

The 80/20 Rule for Job Search

Article discusses ways you can make your job search more effective.

Image copyright, all rights reserved, Leonardo3 -

The Pareto Principle, a.k.a. the 80/20 rule, states that for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.

For example,

  • 80% of profits come from 20% of your customers

  • 80% of employee issues come from 20% of employees

The list goes on.
You are probably asking—How does this have anything to do with my job search? People spend 80% of their time on activities that yield a 20% chance of success. Those activities are

  • Resume writing

  • Cover letters

  • Online applications

I recommend spending 80% of your time on those activities that yield an 80% chance of success and those activities are,

  • Interviewing

  • Networking

  • Outreach

So, how do you land an interview without sending your resume? Believe it or not, sending a resume is not a requisite for a job. It is a formality. In fact, people land jobs without resumes all the time. When da Vinci originally developed a resume it was because he was trying to reach an unreachable person of the time—the Duke of Milan. Although some managers feel they are kind of a big deal, they are not royalty and they can be easily contacted. The answer then? Call! Yes, that simple. Call the individual hiring for the position and express your interest. The moment you have that individual on the phone, you are interviewing and drastically increasing your chances. Here are a few tips to help with that call.

  1. Do your research: You should at least have a general idea of what the company does and how your specific skill set will add value to the manager’s team.

  2. For a more powerful call: Talk to friends, friends of friends, or even current employees about what they know about the company, division, or group. The more specifically you can articulate value to the manager, the better.

Next, networking. Networking is the second-best way to increase your chances of landing a job. Second only because you are one step away from the individual hiring. Here are a few tips to help you become a better networker.

  1. Don't be a fair-weather networker—nobody wants to help the person that takes but never gives.

  2. Give first and often—think of it as building an army of people you have helped. Eventually, that army will be large enough that others can't help but help you.

Last, outreach. Outreach is doing what you love (or giving your time to a cause that you believe in). Participating in outreach is our third-most successful way to find work because it is sort of like interviewing for everything, always. It is indirect. But here's why it works.

  1. You are doing what you love: When people see you doing what you love to do, you glow a little. You are inspired. You don't even know you are working. People are drawn to people with a passion.

  2. Your work is on display: Whether or not it feels like it, you are interviewing. Your philanthropic work is being judged (to some extent) and often times it is the best work you will do all year.

One last note about outreach. Your philanthropic work does not necessarily have to be directly related to your professional work, i.e., you build robots for work so you have to join the local robotics club. That said, the closer the better.
These tips should help you get started. Good luck and happy hunting!

This article is a preview of some of what you can expect next week at the Reaching Out and Reaching Up event at OTC on Monday, 1 May at 4 p.m. I hope to meet you there.

The article was originally published on the author’s LinkedIn page. Reproduced with permission.