Your resume is ready to go and your LinkedIn looks spectacular. Where do you go from here?
Below are four paths you can – and should – take to maximize your chances of finding opportunities and landing interviews.
#1 Apply Online
Scouring job boards is a natural place that many start. I caution job seekers, however, that many roles posted aren’t truly viable for any number of reasons. Companies and hiring managers can go in a different direction and eliminate the role, have identified a short list of candidates through referral, or they have gathered enough candidates in the first day or two of the posting and need no more.
Where many fall short, in my opinion, is to apply online and leave it at that. Rather than just uploading your resume and crossing your fingers for a callback, take the next step and make a personal contact within the company (sites like LinkedIn can tell you who you might know, or who you should know, within an organization).
When a human being is at the other end of the online application process on the lookout for your resume, your application stands a much better chance.
#2 Uncover Unadvertised Roles
Many roles exist that will never get posted or have yet to get posted. By gaining an inside track on these BEFORE they become public, the greater your chance of making the shortlist.
Engage in an email, InMail and old-school mail campaign where you send your resume together with an emotionally compelling cover letter that shows how you are ideally suited to solve the identified problem. Lastly, follow up with phone and email.
While this approach requires quite a bit of sleuthing (almost private detective work!), it can be effective because of its directness.
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#3 Work with A Recruiter
While recruiters often offer a fast-pass track to an interview, it’s important to understand their primary role is not to find you a job. Rather, they are in the business of matching a candidate with the needs of their client (the employer). This means if you are not a good fit they may move on without giving you the heads up.
There are different types of recruiters, and it’s important to understand the differences.
- Internal/In-House/Corporate Recruiters work for the company and are usually a part HR. They find and place candidates for their company and no one else.
- Contingency Recruitersonly get paid if the candidate they identify gets hired. Contingency recruiters often work for employment agencies and staffing firms.
- Retained Recruiters are paid by the company regardless of if their candidate gets hired. Retained recruiters are usually hired to place six-figure roles, confidential or high-profile searches.
With a strong LinkedIn profile and active site engagement, recruiters will often find you. When searching for them, I recommend conducting a search both on LinkedIn and Twitter by field or industry of interest.
#4 Inform Your Network
According to Payscale, up to 85% of jobs get filled through networking. I am therefore of the opinion that the more people who know about your search, the better.
Whether mentioning your job search in casual conversation or making calls or sending emails specifically to advance your job search, you will find people who are open to giving advice and helping if they can.
Beyond personal contacts, I recommend expanding your network for the purposes of your job search to include professional contacts (except for if you need to keep your hunt confidential) and alumni.
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