Yep, that's it. Diversify. Oh, wait. You were hoping I would say go to this website, join this group, or contact this recruiter, right? Nope. The only silver bullet in job seeking is having a diversified market strategy with specific goals and measurable results. Think of it this way: The brand you are "selling" is you. And if you want to be successful in selling You, Inc., you had better be creative in getting your message to your desired market. Think of how to divide your time this way:
As you can see, I've given each section of your job search strategy an equal piece of your "time pie." That is not because I think that they should all be equal, but more to the point that one size does not fit all in clothing, love, or job searching! Each person needs to decide what is best for them.
Statistically speaking, if you are looking for a job that is entry level with a pay rate near minimum wage, you are probably going to recast your pie chart so that doing job applications (both online and in person) is a bigger slice of pie. However, if you are a mid to senior level professional, chances are that you are not going to find your next C-Level job on a general job board, so you may recast your pie to reflect networking (both in person and online) as the biggest slice of time.
Bottom line-there is NO one activity in job seeking that is more effective than others in this economy. Divide your time wisely between these four activities, and you will have a greater return on investment than those job seekers who only concentrate on one.
Good luck and happy searching!