Possibly the biggest change you need to know about is how the job search is conducted.
Rather than scouring job boards for openings, ambitious job seekers take a pro-active approach by identifying companies they would like to work for. This target list of companies becomes the focal point for all activities with a high rate of return- networking, informational meetings, outreach and clear positioning.
You can learn more about target lists in these posts:
Recently, someone commented on a post I wrote:
There is no way to find a hiring manager or anyone else on the “inside.” If he does find a human to speak to, he is always instructed to fill out an online application, and there typically is no way to follow up.
The Problem Is…
First of all, stop playing the job board game. You’ll lose! I know it seems like the best and easiest way to find a new job, but did you know:
- 75% of applicants are weeded OUT by ATS (applicant tracking systems) INFOGRAPHIC here
- Less than 20% of people secure a job offer applying online. Source of Hire data here
And, you’ll become frustrated with the lack of response, lose motivation, start blaming other people and eventually drop out of the search all together. Ok, maybe that’s a bit doom and gloom. But seriously, look at the people you know who did secure a new job. How did they do it? Ask them.
Learn how to do the Two-Step
To answer the question, yes, there is always a way to find a hiring manager. And in case you are wondering, the hiring manager is NOT human resources. It is the person in charge of the department you want to work in.
Don’t chase jobs, chase people.
Find an insider by asking everyone you know if they know anyone in the company you are interested in. If you ask 100 people, because that’s how many people you know, will you come up empty-handed? Most of the time, no. But that can happen, especially if the company is small.
Ask everyone you know who they know this question: “Do you know anyone who works at ABC company. I am interested in learning more about what’s going on over there.” Notice you are not stating you are looking for a job. Why wouldn’t you say that? Because the minute you do, the response is, “go to the website and fill out an online application.” And that is the last thing you want to do!
Pick Up the darn phone.
You will not get the name of the hiring manager. You will get the name of someone who works there and that is good first step. Invite the company insider to meet with you or have a real-live phone conversation. You need this type of interaction to make a strong connection. If you take the shortcut and use email to ask questions about the company (not about a job), you run the risk of falling low on their list of priorities and get lost in the shuffle. Once you have established a rapport with the insider, ask who oversees the department you want to work in and ask if they could make an introduction. If you don’t ask, the answer will always be…
Learn how to use LinkedIn
Simultaneously, search for the company on LinkedIn and see who works there. Look for people you know or have connections to. If you find someone, reach out via phone and ask for a meeting or conversation about what’s happening at their company and why they like working there. Is this difficult? Yes! Do it anyway.
Most job seekers won’t do these things or won’t do them well. If you don’t find someone you know or can connect with, do what this woman did and reach out cold. This is how one career changer landed a job with her dream company.
Take A Look In The Mirror
Before you start complaining that this didn’t work for you when you tried it, ask yourself these questions:
- Did I exhaust every resource possible?
- How many people did I reach out to?
- What did I say which may have led to the wrong response?
- Is my network big enough (do I know enough people?)
- How was my attitude? Did I sound confident and inquisitive or did I come across as negative, bitter, pathetic, etc.
- Are you a “fit” within the company you are applying. It isn’t just about skills.
If you aren’t getting interviews or calls for interviews, the problem is YOU. Sorry.