How many times have you simply applied for a job and left your application in the hands of fate? Kind of risky if you ask me. Is there anything you can do to increase the odds that someone will actually review your resume?
2 Steps Is What It Takes
Most job applicants won’t take the time to do these two steps, and that’s the reason I recommend you do it. The first step is easy. You know that drill. You find a job online and modify your resume to showcase the most important qualifications you have for the job and send a kicking cover letter that explains why you want to work at that company (this requires you’ve done research and know more than the company’s name).
Step 2 is what I want to talk to you about. Go find someone who works for that company. Simple idea but time consuming to implement.
If you can find a strong ally, supporter, cheerleader, or advocate inside the company will that increase the odds of your resume getting reviewed? It is called an employee referral and it is powerful. According to the 2012 CareerXroads source of hiring study, the number one source of external hiring was employee referrals (28%)! Good to know! This is why Step 2 is so important. You are leveraging the power of an inside contact to refer you.
LinkedIn- A Powerhouse
LinkedIn is the go-to source for finding inside connections. When you go to a company’s page on LinkedIn, see who works there and who you are connected to. If your network is tiny, that is, you have fewer than 100 connections on LinkedIn, finding first level connections is going to be tough*.
*It is important to remind you that your LinkedIn connections should mirror your real-life connections and I’m pretty sure you interacted with more than 100 other professionals over the past couple of years. But this isn’t just a number game. The strength of your relationship with your connection is equally important.
Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest all draw different crowds and may enable you to tap into employees who work for the company you are applying to. Search them all. If you have the same results I did, you will find some employees on one network you were unable to find on others.
Unlike LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ are open networks which don’t require someone to accept your invite to see what they are saying on these platforms. The benefit to you is that you can or could begin immediately building a relationship with company insiders without waiting for a referral, as you usually would on LinkedIn.
Use Twitter and Twitter search tools to find inside connections. Then use Facebook to see who you are connected to in your personal network. We often overlook the fact that our friends and family may know people who can help us professionally. And don’t forget about Google+ and Pinterest.
You don’t have to use them all…but it is good to know about them.
I delivered this presentation yesterday and I hope this shows you in more depth what I’m talking about. Obviously, without the words behind the slides, there are still details missing, but see what you think.