They need to start acting outside of the box!
What do I mean by this? A successful job search is not conducted behind your computer screen (the box). In fact, only about 10-20% of job seekers are actually hired after applying online in response to an online job posting. And, the higher level position you're looking for, the lower that percentage is. So what does this mean? You should only be spending 10-20% of your time applying for jobs online. What percentage are you sitting behind the box? 50%...75%?
Yes, there are other activities you can be doing at your computer: writing thank you notes, updating your profile or finding new people to connect with on LinkedIn, doing company research. But my message is the same: Start acting outside of the box! Step away from the box and go meet with someone! Go to a networking event. Make a phone call to a well connected friend. Take a walk to clear your head. Do anything, except continue to sit behind your computer screen!
"Don't mistake activity for achievement" is a quote from the famous basketball coach John Wooden. That's what a lot of job seekers do: they mistake activity at their computer for progress on the job search. Don't be one of them: Act outside of the box!