Employment Specialist JVS/NEXTGen

Employment Specialist Rachel Devries is here to answer your job-related questions! Her first entry offers smart tips to start your job search.

By Rachel Devries

Photography by Becky Hurvitz, JFMD


Dear Rachel, 

I am overwhelmed by all the job openings I find on the internet. Is searching online job portals, like Indeed and Monster, really the best way to find a job? 


Caught in the (World Wide) Web 

Dear Caught in the (World Wide) Web, 

Searching online for a new job is important, but most experts believe that over 80 percent of jobs are found through networking. That means less than 20 percent of jobs are found solely through looking at an online job portal. 

My favorite online site for networking is LinkedIn and it should become yours, too. Here’s why: 

Most businesses, both for-profit and non-profit, are posting their open positions on LinkedIn. When you find a job opening on LinkedIn that piques your interest, you can immediately learn if you have any direct (“1st degree”) or more distant (“2nd degree” or “3rd degree”) connections to anyone who currently works,  formerly worked, volunteered or went to school at that place of business. 

Networking with those specific connections will give you a leg-up on the competition, as those connections can provide more intel about the company than you can find through a Google search and, perhaps, put in a good word for you (if you deserve it and make the ask appropriately). 

The comfort level of an employer or hiring manager increases when an employee can vouch for a candidate, making the candidate more likely to receive an interview. 

Checking online job portals for your next job is only a small portion of the work it takes to find employment. LinkedIn takes the 20 percent of looking for a job online and combines it with the 80 percent of networking involved in getting that job.  

Now, I’m no mathematician but that sounds like a fairly high percentage.

Of course, you’re not guaranteed to gain employment through LinkedIn and people certainly find jobs by just applying through online job portals. So do what works for you, as long as that includes using LinkedIn, and stop searching for jobs in ways you find too overwhelming. 

LinkedIn is an incredible professional media resource but you should be using LinkedIn to get you off LinkedIn. Wait, what?! To find out what that means, please check out my next article here next month! 

Happy Connecting, 

Rachel Devries 


Rachel Devries wants to help you make your next interview, your last interview. Born and raised in Michigan, Rachel is a graduate from the University of Michigan and Certified Global Career Development FacilitatorAs an Employment Specialist at JVS Human Servicesshe works with young adults ages 21-45, through NEXTGen Detroit. Rachel also teaches JVS workshops for jobseekers. Rachel is available to advise you through your employment search, revamp your resume and cover letter and introduce you to high-level professionals.


Do you have a job-related question on the brain? Email Rachel for your chance to be featured in “Rachel’s Read” at rdevries@jvshumanservices.org.