QUESTION: I spend so much time filling out applications with no callbacks. What is the best way to get noticed by employers?
At least 70% of jobs are not published. To get them, you need to network, both in-person and online. Instead of surfing job boards, why not get in touch with all your friends, acquaintances, colleagues, fellow alumni and ask for a referral for a job opening wherever they are? The majority of hiring is friends hiring other trusted friends.
Your resume should convey your unique value proposition, be easy to scan through quickly and be ATS-friendly. If you have these points covered, consider alternative application channels like: 1) an employee referral program, 2) introduction by a mutual connection, 3) industry and/or company networking, 4) contract or retained search Recruiters and 5) connecting with the hiring manager on LinkedIn.
The best way to get noticed by employers is to (a) identify the specific employers you want to work for and then (b) laser-focus your documents on their needs. Align your skills and experience and keyword optimize your document by leveraging job description info and prove you can solve their problems by including tangible results (how you’ve saved time or $; reduced costs, improved productivity).
While applying online may be necessary, it shouldn’t be your sole source of landing a job. Be sure your resume is visually appealing and keyword optimized for the posting. Focus the bulk of your job search efforts on networking and building relationships with decision makers at your target company. You must remember that people hire people they know, like and trust. Don’t forget to follow up.
Talk to people. The most effective way to an interview is through a referral or recommendation from someone who can refer you to a specific job or introduce you to the hiring manager. Spruce up your LinkedIn presence and ask people to write LinkedIn recommendations for you that emphasize key qualities and successes that will be valuable to your target roles and prospective employers.
Show them you’ve got what they need. Examine the posting; note the skills, products, and buzz words listed. Then ensure your resume and cover letter contain those keywords. Focus on your accomplishments. In short, customize your resume for every application. Finally, do less applying online and start networking to find contacts who can hand your customized resume to a hiring manager.
First, make sure you have an effective resume tailored for the kinds of positions you are applying for. It should also be ATS friendly. Many times resumes get overlooked simply because they’re not formatted correctly, have no keywords, scattered or missing text. Follow up with a cover letter that’s specific to the company’s needs. Make sure you have a fully built out and engaging LinkedIn profile.
Employers hire people they know and people they like. Become a known candidate. Tap your network or use LinkedIn to connect with people who work with the company. Learn about the company’s needs and present yourself as a solution to meeting those needs; not a problem in need of a solution (a person in need of a job). Don’t just fill out the application and wait; go the extra mile to stand out.
Get noticed by connecting with people. In fact, 61% of job applicants find jobs through referrals and networking while only 2% secure a gig via online job boards. Play to the numbers. Replace your flurry of applications with daily outreach within (and outside) your network. Be a student of those who have the job you want or work for a target company through informational interviews.
The historically tried and true method is to obtain an advocate in the company who can bring your application to the attention of decision-makers. To achieve this, you will need to put on your sleuthing hat and use LinkedIn, Google, or your other networks to 1) get the names of folks on the inside, and 2) approach them deftly with a strategic pitch for help, using best practices in outreach.
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