5 min read

Are You Still Applying Online??

Nov 1, 2023 6:27:48 AM

When describing how most professionals earning multiple six-figures conduct a career search, one of my favorite analogies is inviting my client to picture a small pond stocked with a few fish surrounded by thousands of fishermen, all dropping their lines into this pond, hoping to get the smallest nibble...

Then, picture on the other side of the hedgerow, a large lake filled to the brim with giant, juicy fish of every species. I’m located in Missouri, so we have largemouth and smallmouth bass, white crappie, muskie, channel catfish, long-nose gar, and then we have the sunfish and carp (those last two usually get thrown back because they're full of nothing but bones).

Back to the lake on the other side of the hedge trees. Around this expansive lake, you barely see a few fishermen, and every time they cast their reel, they yank it up there's a whopper at the end of the line.



Interesting data from LinkedIn was published recently that really drives this point home. They tout that 117 job applications are submitted to their job board every second. Later down the page, they are also proud of another number: 8 people are hired every minute. (Source: LinkedIn)

It got me thinking…

Let's crunch those numbers:

117 people every second of the day apply for a job on the LinkedIn job board. Every minute, then, there are 117 x 60 seconds, or 7,020 job applications submitted.

Out of those 7,020 applications submitted each minute, 8 people are hired.

Therefore, your chances of getting hired by applying for a posted position on LinkedIn, according to their own numbers, is only one out of 877.5 applications.

You have a .114% chance of being hired from a LinkedIn posting. That's not 11%... that's .11 of one percent...


With all things being equal, then, you would theoretically have to apply for a job using the LinkedIn job board 877.5 times in order to get an offer that you accept. That begs a question for YOU, then – how many times in the last month have YOU applied for a job online?

We keep a lot of data on both our clients and our prospective clients, and about 70% of those professionals who explore working with us submit less than five applications per month. At that rate, it would take the majority group of 70% only 176 months to apply for enough roles to get an acceptable position. That’s 14.67 years.

Now, I said “with all things being equal.” But all things are NOT equal. This statistic of one job for every 877.5 applications includes all posted positions at all levels, not just six-figure positions (much less, roles earning multiple-six-figures). Anyone that has spent time on LinkedIn’s job board knows that multi-six-figure positions are a rare find.

For those lucky enough to find one that pays multiple-six-figures, there’s a good chance the hiring manager has already picked out the winning candidate and they are just posting it online to fulfill EEOC laws or their own company guidelines. (Yes, that’s a thing.)

So, if you’re still submitting applications for roles you find on the LinkedIn job boards, other than fulfilling the definition of insanity, may I ask WHY??

I don’t have to ask why. I know why. Because you don’t know what else to do. Applying online was advertised to us in Superbowl commercials since before the dot com bust.

And before our clients engage with us, they only know of three things to do:

  1. Apply online 
  2. Try to hunt down recruiters, either on LinkedIn or those recruiters they’ve talked with in the past
  3. Bug their friends and old colleagues, asking them if they know anyone who’s hiring.

So, I’ll let you in on the very best way to hunt for a job at your level. I’ve discovered that it’s really a combination of three things…

Our three-pronged approach:

  1. Proactively contact the person that would be your boss in a company you’d want to work for. Then rinse and repeat – continue doing that same thing, at scale.
  2. Reach out to recruiters who primarily deal with executive-level talent in the top 25 recruiting firms in the career industry.
  3. Finally, reach out proactively to Operating Partners and Managing Partners within private equity firms. It may take some time to break into those companies because private equity is very much a closed ecosystem.

These days, it’s easiest to do all three of these activities using LinkedIn connection requests, followed by intermittent direct messages to those people who have accepted your request.

It may sound like I’m giving away the farm, but honestly, there’s so much that is necessary prior to that outreach and so many details and nuances in implementing those strategies, that I think it would be a difficult task to do on your own.

I mean, you can try it… But, you can also reach out to my team and me and explore partnering with us here at CRC. It doesn’t cost you anything, and at the very least, we can help you uncover some of the challenges that are keeping you from being successful in your search, and beyond that diagnosis, you’ll also leave the initial consultation being inspired and have a renewed excitement about where your career can take you.

Tammy Kabell

Written by Tammy Kabell