A popular topic among job seekers centers around job search techniques…what works, what does not work, everyone wants to know some secret sauce to breaking the recruiting code. Hate to be the one to pull back the curtain on the Wizard of Oz, but there are no secrets, no sure fire way to get noticed. Below are some tips of how to get noticed from those who have been successful:
Use LinkedIn: Many alums will see jobs posted on a company site, apply, and then reach out to professionals who are currently employed by the firm. The context of the approach is usually one of asking for advice/prep for potential upcoming interviews and often end in referrals to hiring managers. By asking for advice, you are allowing for a conversation to happen that is built on a topic that the individual can discuss…we all can offer advice for interviews and about our employer.
By taking the approach of asking for advice, one also relieves the pressure/expectations on the conversation. Networking calls can be stunted if one side feels the other is expecting a job referral out of the call/meeting. My advice is to build the relationship, let the person get to know you a bit, and if he/she feels comfortable, they can make the decision to endorse your candidacy.
Use Existing Networks: I always stress to networkers to follow-up with their contacts, keep them in the loop as to one’s progress. Tapping this group when one applies for a position is an easy follow-up email.
“I wanted to keep you updated as to my career search efforts. Within the last week, I applied to the Account Coordinator role (#234323) with Thomas and Payne as well as the Asst. Marketing Manager (#ABC1234) position at International Megacom. If you have any insights into either of these positions/employers, please let me know. Again, thank you for your time and I will be sure to keep you in the loop as to my efforts.”
Your existing contacts already know you and have already invested time to help you, so they will appreciate an update and are more willing to continue to assist you in your employment efforts. Keep this group invested in your job search.
Overall, people want to help each other and receive great satisfaction when someone they know is successful in their career search. When you do land the job, be sure to thank everyone and extend the offer to reciprocate the help. Finally, stay in touch with your networking base (holiday cards, occasional communications) as, most likely, this will not be the last job search you ever conduct.