These are The Only Ways You Should Be Looking For a Job in 2020

Looking for a new job in 2020 is very different proposition than it was in the past. 20 years ago, if you were looking for a job in finance, you could pick up a financial magazine in your local shop and look at the job section in the back, where there would be a selection of roles. If after reading the job advert you were interested in the role, you could send your CV directly to the company and it is likely you would be given a face-to-face interview with the hiring manager.

Today the internet means that everyone across the country can view and apply for the same jobs that you’re applying to. Today, it is not uncommon to have a thousand applications to a job advert. Research shows that 133 graduates applied for each graduate position advertised, while on average, 89 candidates applied to mid-level roles in the UK. Over the years I have heard stories of candidates applying to a thousand jobs adverts and not receiving a single reply.

How Do Companies Hire Candidates?

The way that companies hire talent is also continually changing. Ten years ago, companies would focus on finding talent using recruitment companies, job boards, and their network. Today there is less prominence towards recruitment companies and job boards, and more focus towards company brands and personal networking.

Due to the internet, companies are receiving thousands of CV’s from potential candidates across the world. It’s now not only the experience on your CV that counts, but also knowing how to write a CV that takes into account keywords to help to beat the company’s applicant tracking system.

In this section, we are going to explore job search strategies to help you find your dream job. Rather than simply telling you my job search strategies, I’ve devised a simple survey that will show us how companies find talent. Once we understand how companies find their talent, we can look at the best ways for you to find your next position.

The 2020 Survey

The 2020 Survey was both sent out to over 60,000 candidates from my email list, but also placed as a poll on LinkedIn. The survey asked one simple question, how did you find your current job?

The results were terrific and provided us with a great insight into how companies find their talent and more importantly, how we need to approach our job search in the future. The results showed that;

  • 42% – Found their new job internally
  • 27% – Approached the hiring manager
  • 10% – Applied through a Job Board
  • 15% – Were approached via a recruitment company
  • 6% – Other Methods

What Does This Mean For Your Job Search

The Only Way To Look For A Job In 2020

42% – Internal Candidates

Given 42% of all new hires were found using internal candidates, your first point of call needs to be getting into a company where the hiring managers can see your work and more importantly be impressed by it.

If you can get the vote of confidence from a hiring manager, you have an internal reference that will improve your chances of finding a permanent position. If you’re smart, you can use this reference in other ways outside the company simply by researching their network.

This means looking at the temp market, contracting or even taking a job that you don’t want in the long term, but can prove yourself and move into a permanent role within the group.

In this section, we’re looking specifically at ways you find a new job by being the internal candidate that the hiring manager chooses.

How Contracting Got Me My Dream Job

How I Got Two Job Offers From One Month Long Contract

The Step Down Or Step-Sideways

27% – Approached The Hiring Manager

You can apply to hundreds of job adverts, speak to recruiters and send as many LinkedIn message as you want. Ultimately if you’re CV does not reach the hiring manager, you’re never going to be interviewed, and you’ll never be in the running for the position.

The way around this, you send it directly to the hiring manager and get them to review it for any positions available in their team. The best thing about this job search, you’re sending it in relation to open roles, but you can also be considered for closed roles that either the hiring manager plans to hire in the future, or roles that are not active, but the hiring manager will hire for if they can ind the right candidate.

The method for this job search strategy is as follows;

  • Step One – Build a list of potential hiring managers that are relevant to both your career, and position level. The keyword here is relevance.
  • Step Two – Find their professional email addresses. Don’t send your CV to their personal email as its not professional. Personally I will not respond to emails sent to my private email address.
  • Step Three – Email each hiring manager your CV, and an introductory email outlining why you’re the right candidate who they need to meet.

This is a difficult process and one that very few candidates can be bothered to try. Those that do realise this is the best job search strategy, and the only strategy they need to find a new job.


In my opinion, a referral is the most important part of any successful job search. What a referral is telling the hiring manager, is that you’re good at your job and someone that they need to speak to.

Referrals are part of everyday life – Do you need a new car, laptop, camera or even holiday? What’s the first thing you do when you decide that you want to go on holiday? In my case, it’s choose a country and head onto the Internet to check out the hotel reviews.

I want to know what other people think of the location and hotel. Did they have a nice experience? Would they return? What’s there to do? After reading all the reviews, I then decide if this is the holiday for me, or should I think of somewhere else to go.

Finding a candidate for a role is no different. Hiring managers want a perfect candidate, and after looking at a selection of CV, they want to narrow this down to a few select candidates that they will interview personally. This is where referrals are key. If you have a referral, you’ll skip straight to the front of the interview queue.

In this section, we’re looking at how to find and use that referral to be successful in your job search. Remember, networking is a massive part of finding that referral, and we spend most of this section looking at online and offline networking.

How To Find A Referral

How To Use LinkedIn To Find A Referral

LinkedIn – The Direct Reach Out Approach

10% Job Boards

I don’t think job boards should be a major focus of any job search, that said, there is always a place for them in your job search. Over the last few years, I have met candidates that have applied to thousands of jobs and never received a single reply. What worries me the most, often it’s not their CV that’s the problem. It’s the fact that each job advert gets thousands of replies and there is no way a recruiter will look at them all.

“Relevance” is the keyword when we’re talking about job boards. Recruiters will use an applicant tracking system and search for very specific keywords within your CV. In this section, we’re looking at job boards and how to beat them to make sure your CV is successful, and you’re the candidate that is chosen for interviews.

Before you apply to a job via a job advert, think about your CV and how it’s written. The majority of companies across the world will use some form of applicant tracking systems (ATS) to sort through the thousands of CV’s they receive each week automatically.

This means that you’re CV might not even be looked at by a recruiter or hiring manager, and is simply reviewed by the ATS portal and graded to it’s relevancy to the job search criteria. If you’ve not written it correctly, and have not focused on your relevant keywords, your CV could simply be given a low relevancy score, and an automatic email will be sent to say that you’ve not been successful.

Relevant Job Boards

15% Recruitment Companies

Recruitment companies still have their place in your job search, however, you need to realise a recruiter is working for their client and not for you. Unless you have something the recruiter actively wants, honestly the recruiter does not care whether you exist or not.

Typically, a company will use an external recruitment agency to find candidates that are in short supply or when they cannot find a specific profile themselves. Whilst this is a small percentage, it still represents many thousands of hires each year across the world.

The key point here, you need to find if you want a recruiter to find you a new role. This does not mean simply sending your CV to your local recruiter and thinking the job is done.

In this section, we’re looking at recruitment companies. Which you should be looking at, which you should avoid and most importantly, how to make sure that if a recruiter is looking for a profile like yours, they find you first.

6% Outside The Box

Searching for a career is often a time-consuming process, but one that you need to think outside the box a little to get the right result. Any job application process that is easy, will receive thousands of candidate application. Most are simply just testing their luck with little or no chance of actually being successful.

If you put in some work and find the difficult, more time-consuming job search strategies, it’s more than likely that most other candidates will be put off, and there will be a much lower number of applications and more chance that your CV will be read.

Below is every idea I could think to help with your job search.

Social Media

Facebook and Twitter are key social media platforms that we all use to keep in touch with friends, however, social media also have access to billions of people across the world. There is a good chance, you’re next hiring manager has a profile on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter. It doesn’t take much to get access to their profile and use social media in your next job search.

The most important platforms that you should be using are,, and While there are many others, these are the main platforms that recruiters and hiring managers are using.

  • Facebook – Most people assume that Facebook can be used only for your out of work network, however you would be surprised to know that over the last few years, Facebook is gradually increasing its presence in the job market. Facebook, not only allow you to job groups that are specifically aimed at a specific sector or industry, but also allows you to directly contact hiring managers through the website.
  • LinkedIN – We are talking about again and another way that you can use LinkedIn to find a job. LinkedIn allows you to join groups that are specifically aimed towards your profile and career. You can use these groups to network with hiring managers and recruiters within your sector and have the ability to network directly with hiring managers.
  • Twitter – allows you to sign up to companies twitter profiles and view any announcements that they make. If you sign up for a few hundred companies that are using, any jobs that are posted on their twitter account meaning that any relevant jobs to your profile, you can apply to quickly.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, finding a new job is about getting your CV in front of the hiring manager and making sure they decide that you’re the right person for the role.

You can have the best experience, the greatest CV and cover letter in the world, but at the end of the day, if the hiring manager does not look at your CV, you have no chance of getting a job.

If you think finding a job new is just applying to a few jobs on a job board, unless you’re extremely lucky, there’s a good chance you will never get anywhere.

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Nick Jones

My name Nick Jones, I am a professional Head-Hunter with over 20 years of experience working all over the world. I specialise in out-of-the-box job search strategies to get your CV directly to the hiring manager, thus skipping any ATS portals or recruiters who think they're important.

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