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Job seekers: What digital marketing can teach you about good job hunting


DATE: 19 February, 2019

I was speaking at a function recently when someone asked me about job hunting advice. I told them I knew the secret to absolutely, positively getting a job. They looked dubious, and to be fair I’m also usually dubious when people make such claims about secrets and guarantees, but I didn’t back down.

So without further delay, let me share that secret with you now:

Keep asking.

Seriously, keep asking. If you keep asking for a job, you will get one. OK, sure, there’s a chance that in extreme cases you may, in fact, die of old age before someone says ‘yes’, but in the vast majority of cases, if you keep asking, someone will indeed say ‘yes’, eventually.

Job hunting is all about ‘conversion'

It’s always, and I mean always, a matter of ‘conversion’. And if you don’t accept that now, it will haunt you 'til the end of days.

If you get involved in digital marketing, ‘conversion’ is what it’s all about. And ‘conversion’ is math.

How many people opened our EDM? How many website visitors bought something? There’s always, and I mean always, an equation.

According to MailChimp, one of the world’s leading email marketing services, regardless of industry, email open rates are between 15.22% and 28.46%. While there’s a decent range there, it’s not 0% to 100%, it’s all in that 20-ish% range, give or take. That’s math, based on the hundreds of millions of emails they’ve delivered. That’s data that can help companies understand how many people they have to ‘ask’, if they want someone to say ‘yes’.

Actually, more specifically, the click rate – (that is, people who actually click on something in the email rather than just open it) – is between 1.25% and 5.13%, an even narrower spread.

What's digital marketing got to do with job hunting?

If you’re into digital marketing, that may be all well and interesting. If you’re job hunting, you may be wondering what the heck that has to do with you. I’d argue you’re in the same boat.

Assuming you have some qualifications or ability in the field you’re trying to get into, you’ll have your own personal open rate, your own click rate. And your own conversion rate.

Let’s say your open rate is 20%. Out of 100 applications you send, only 20 people will even look at it. Not bad. But not great news if you only send 20 applications, which might mean only four people would even give you the time of day.

As for click rate, the news is even worse. You send 100 applications and only two or three of them might do anything about it. Which isn’t great news if you only send 20! I’ll let you do the math on that one.

And then there’s conversion rate. That’s what happens after you finally get someone to click. Your ‘yes’.

Across industries in the online space, depending on which stats you refer to, the average conversion rate is around 2%. Not 2% of people you contact, but 2% of people who come to your site. In your case, that may mean 2% of your 3 or 4% ‘open rate’.

So you send 100 applications, 20 people look at it, only four people click on it, and out of those four, only .08 of a person will say ‘yes’.

Perhaps job hunting stats are a little higher than that, in fact, I know they are. But I don’t know how much higher which means you need to work your numbers: more applications, more clicks, and finally a ‘yes’.

When you start to look at things this way, you can choose one of two reactions: despair, or hope.

‘Despair’ if you focus on the fact your conversion rate might be incredibly low. ‘Hope’ if you realise it’s all a numbers game and every ‘no’ is simply part of the equation. Everyone gets them. Everyone gets lots of them. You are no exception. They’re all part of the process. You don’t necessarily get a ‘no’ because you’re rubbish, it’s just what happens.

Although, just like those digital marketers, there are things you can do to improve your open rates, your click rates and, most importantly, your conversion rates. And you can too.

Even better news, unlike them, you only need one ‘customers’ to say ‘yes’.

This blog post was originally published on our partner site, Firebrand Talent.