Truth or Consequences

will-s-0209The truth about print and online job ads.
As a workforce development professional, I constantly get questions from job seekers about the scores of job openings listed in newspapers, magazines, and employment publications around town. Most people express the frustration of never hearing anything back after responding to these job openings.

The biggest reason why most employers don’t respond is because they are often overwhelmed by the large number of responses and they don’t have the time or resources to reply to each applicant.

Interestingly enough, some companies seem to list the same positions frequently. I have learned that some of these same companies continue to advertise their job postings whether they have openings or not. In many cases, these are normally high turnover positions where the employer feels inclined to keep its pipeline filled with plenty of available candidates. Companies mainly pay for ad space in time allotments and will do what is in the best interest of the company to get the biggest bang for their buck.

Online Job Listings

Almost all companies now list their openings online which makes it almost passé to use print job listings. Online job listings dropped off precipitously last year, then bounced back in December and January; the increase moderated about 43,000 ads per month nationwide, according to The Conference Board– an organization that monitors online job listings.

But, working with online job listings can be an even more frustrating proposition than jobs listed in print. Online listings can be viewed by anyone from anywhere and will normally receive an inordinate amount of responses, depending on the position. The other downside to online job postings is the fact that employers may forget to remove or update them in a timely manner.

It has been estimated that 80 percent of the job seekers are actually applying to 20 percent of the jobs posted online. This means that it would make more sense to become part of the 20 percent of job seekers who are applying for 80 percent of the jobs that aren’t posted online.

Tips When Using Print Job Ads

Although you shouldn’t spend an inordinate amount of time revolving your job search around listed job postings, there are ways to make effective use of them.

1) If there is contact information available, store it for future use. Weeks later, you can always follow up to see if the position has been filled. Now that the overflow of applications have ceased, you might be able to jump to the head of the pile.

2) Use job listings to help gauge what kinds of jobs in your field are being listed. At least there might now be some possible hiring activity in your field.

3) Use job postings to update your current resume. You might notice that the language used in the posting could be useful in enhancing your resume.

There is no reason to believe that you can’t find a job though job listings in magazines or newspapers, but you need to be smart about how much time you spend using this strategy. Believe it or not, there are still some small local companies that might only post their openings in print. There are also numerous trade publications and professional association journals, that still list quality job openings in their print publications, as well as their online offerings.

Obviously, the best way to employ an effective job search is to network relentlessly while incorporating a variety of strategies that provide results. It’s also a great idea to keep an open mind while keeping your job search as fresh as possible.

Good luck with your endeavors and remember to always keep your head in the game!

Wil Smith is a Business Consultant for Workforce Solutions in the Houston metropolitan area. Wil has collected over 20 years of expertise in the areas of Corporate Training & Development, Recruitment and Operational Management; with the majority of that time working with a Fortune 500 Corporation. He has also worked in the Sports/ News industry as a Reporter and Broadcaster.

1 Response to “Truth or Consequences”


  1. 1 Stephen Moore September 13, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    I’m really enjoying and looking forward to your next blog great job !


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