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My friend and career coach Matt Youngquist with Career Horizons ( recently published his June newsletter with the following statements.

  1. Less than 20% of all hiring that takes place in today’s market occurs from submitting a resume or application to a published Internet opportunity.
  2. Such listings are often the most rigid and competitive method for getting hired.
  3. The most successful job hunters realize that the main avenue for success has always been the networking circuit and channel the majority of their efforts each day into building relationships, identifying target companies, and seeking to generate referrals into these organizations.
  4. This really isn’t new information, as virtually every career book and article has cited these realities for the past decade or two, but for whatever reason there seems to have been a “relapse” of people lately who are putting too much faith — and investing too much time — on the job website circuit
  5. The majority of all hiring activity out there never actually sees the light of the day and is generated through “warm” interpersonal interactions, instead of through the chilly, unfeeling clutches of resume screening software.

Matt could have been writing my newsletter with a few edits. So let’s look at those edits to make his points relevant to my audience.

  1. The International Business Brokers Association and other sources have stated for years similar statistics for the sale of small businesses. They state 20% or so of companies sold are advertised or listed, although my impression is that the larger the company the greater the chance a business broker or investment banker will be involved.
  2. If you refer to my Weekly Memo of June 9, 2015 you’ll see that using email and the Internet can be the “easy way out” and this applies to buyers also. It’s a lot easier for an intermediary or seller to screen you out if they haven’t met you, built a relationship, and are relying only on a resume or application.
  3. We’ve preached this at “Partner” On-Call Network for years (decades) and it’s a focal point in my book, Buying A Business That Makes You Rich. Buyers have to get out and “pound the pavement.” They have to make calls, meet people, and build relationships. People sell to and refer to people they like.
  4. As stated in the above point, we’ve been saying this for years. So why won’t/don’t most business buyers do this?
  5. There isn’t screening software for business buy-sell deals (yet) so refer to my first point. A lot of deals are done direct from seller to buyer. Some sellers fear (and this is a mild word) a confidentiality breach and prefer to work one-on-one with a qualified buyer. (Of course, many prefer to see as many buyers as possible and don’t really worry that buyers can figure the name of their company based on the Internet ad.)

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