3 Popular But Time-Wasting Job Search Techniques

Have you considered the following possibility?

Some of the most popular job search methods aren’t effective.

They’re supported by many professionals. This is true. But, they do very little to increase your job search success.

Here’s the thing though: it’s important to focus on useful job hunt techniques for productivity purposes.

To know what’s useful, you must know what isn’t. So, below, we’ll discuss a few non-working methods.

But first, I’ll present the number 1 reason you should check out and evaluate them.

They’re time-wasters!


Firstly, it’s harder to land a job using them because of the massive competition nowadays. Secondly, they don’t work as primary methods of job hunting because of the inability to speak directly to hiring managers for knowledge of their needs—and the inability to customize your application materials to meet these needs.

But you won’t understand why they’re a waste of your time without knowledge of what they are, so let’s dive in.

Ineffective Ways to Look for a Job

In a post on her Grammar Chic Blog, Amanda Clark, Professional Resume Writer and Lecturer, outlines 3 job search methods to avoid because they don’t work.

3 Popular but Time-Wasting Job Search Techniques.
Jeshoots Original Photo Courtesy of Jan Vasek. Edited by Priscilla.

I’ll provide 2 of the 3 methods for your review because I haven’t covered them on this blog.

Method #1.

Attending job fairs. You may have heard some wonderful, glowing reports from people who found their jobs via job fairs. And back in the day, job fairs really were pretty effective. That’s because you could go to a job fair, learn about different companies, and actually have a chance to meet with recruiters and interview for jobs on the spot.

That sounds great, right? Well, yeah, it was. But job fairs don’t really work that way anymore. These days, when you go to a job fair, you’re going to meet an awful lot of nice recruiters who tell you to… visit the company website and apply there.

So save yourself the trouble. Skip the fair and just do some online research on your own.” – Amanda Clark, CEO of Grammar Chic, Inc.

Method #3.

Social media. No, wait! We very much believe in the importance of using social media to enhance your personal brand. In fact, Grammar Chic offers full LinkedIn optimization services, something we recommend to many jobseekers.

But what we don’t buy is that very many people get their dream job by hounding a company on Twitter, or that you can interview for a job over LinkedIn messages.

Social media is good, but it’s not that good. Don’t waste your time pursing an outcome that’s really just not very likely.” – Amanda Clark, CEO of Grammar Chic, Inc.

Effective Way to Look for a Job

I’ve spent (and still spend) a lot of time learning about job searching and agree with Ms. Clark. I don’t believe these techniques should be your only strategies for finding a job—if you’re using them.

I won’t say job fairs and social media are downright bad. In fact, you can use social media to identify hiring managers and before applying and interviewing, for instance.

Job Search Techniques
3 Popular but Time-Wasting Job Search Techniques.
Creative Commons’ Flickr Original Photo Courtesy of Jason Howie. Edited by Me.

The problem with relying solely on these techniques, however, is:

Upon applying these methods to your job hunt, you ineffectively use your time.

It’s better to invest your time (or at least most of your time) in useful strategies, such as understanding your interests and skills, researching companies of interest, and targeting your application materials for direct submission.

These techniques all come down to the following:

A Targeted Job Search Approach. 

If you’ve been reading this blog, then you know I’m all for the targeted job search approach. Here’s why: it increases your chances of receiving job interview requests from organizations.

Of course with any method out there, you face a chance of rejection, but the possibility of moving ahead in the hiring process (i.e., interviewing) is greater with this method. It’s certainly proven beneficial to me in my job search overall.

With this method, you’re aware of the organizations of interest to you and the industry (or industries) of your choice. You research them, explore jobs of interests, and determine whether your qualifications are a match.

Then, you customize your resumes and cover letters to meet their requirements.

You can read more here: Job Search Strategies: Shotgun vs. Targeted.


An effective job search consists of doing what works and avoiding what doesn’t.

I’ve discussed what doesn’t work in this article.

If you’ve been primarily using these 3 methods (for the 3rd one hit the link below) with little to no success in your job search, then you probably weren’t aware of their ineffectiveness. However, you can make changes now and focus on effective job search strategies.

Whatever you do as a job seeker, don’t allow your job hunt to invade other areas of your life because you’re not efficiently managing your time. This means investing your time in strategies with higher possibilities of successful outcomes.

Because your time matters in the job search, I’d like you to consider the methods in this post as presented by Ms. Clark on her blog. Evaluate them. If they haven’t been working for you, then please focus on better methods.

You won’t regret it!

You can head over to her blog to check her full post:

Amanda Clark, 3 Job Search Methods That Just Don’t Work │ Grammar Chic Blog

Disclaimer: I am no Human Resources, Employment, or Career Professional by training. When I write on job search topics, I write from the perspective of a job seeker with direct job search experience in today’s job market.