Does your job search ‘strategy’ include sending a resume online and hoping for the best?
Relying on nothing more than your application will result in disappointment the majority of the time if you want to land your next dream job.
The following methodology has enabled my clients to land their dream job in about eight weeks, plus a 20 percent or more salary boost. That’s the norm for clients who follow through. Atypical results happen too. A more than 110 percent raise in two weeks, for example.
Full disclosure, this process is much easier for the high-achieving professional who has integrity, drive, and a strong work ethic. But it can be effective for everyone. It works, plain and simple.
So, are you warmed up yet? Here are a few statistics to get us started:
“On average, corporate job openings attract 250 resumes each.” – Glassdoor
“Only 15 percent of jobs are filled through job boards.” – CareerXroads
“At least 80 percent of jobs are landed through networking,” – ABC
With stats like those, it’s clear to see why you can’t just apply and hope for a response.
Here’s the reality. A job seeker who is referred is up to 14 times more likely to be hired than someone who applies without a referral, according to CareerXroads. Lou Adler, author of Hire With Your Head and creator of Performance-based Hiring℠, says if that referral comes from a trusted employee and gets to a hiring manager, you’re 50 to 100 times more likely to get the gig.
Referrals are our No. 1 priority. Let’s discuss the “who” and “how” of getting referred.
Who? (Part 1)
Talking to your 1st degree LinkedIn connections is the first step. Find those connections who wholeheartedly believe in your professional abilities, and who you like. It helps if they’re connected to people in your desired industry, but it’s not vital. These are what I call your “Top Connectors.” You can be honest with these people. Tell them what you’re looking for, the type of person you want to talk to, and ask who they know.
Who? (Part 2)
Ultimately, you want to talk to 2nd-degree connections that are company VIPs because they’re who you want to refer you for a specific job. If you’ve done the legwork, a Top Connector will introduce you and you’re on your way. But sometimes you need to get crafty. Try working backwards by using LinkedIn advanced searches to find the ideal people to contact. Find your best mutual connection to introduce you and have them cite a specific reason you’d like to speak with them.
So you have the connections, now what? Informational interviews are your go-to mechanism for getting referred. Just to be clear, informational interviews are NOT explicitly about a job. They’re a learning tool comprised of three main parts:
- Intro/ Connection Building
- Learning and Liking
- How They Can Help
Intro/ Connection Building: Talk positively and enthusiastically about your mutual connection and shared interests. Emphasize the purpose of the call, the topic you most want to discuss with them (see Learning and Liking).
Learning and Liking: Ask thoughtful questions about their industry, company, and position. You want to ask questions that imply your fit in the industry and company. Surface-level questions could make your connection feel like you’re wasting his/her time. Answering difficult questions is an ego boost for the person on the other end. They start to feel like they can be helpful to you. Prepare three topics to discuss.
How They Can Help: As you near the end of your call, the conversation usually transitions to your career. Sometimes they’ll ask how they can help you in your job search. Other times you’ll have to navigate to that topic yourself. A useful prompt is “the X department at Y COMPANY sounds like a great fit for me, and I’d love to apply for a position. Is there anything in particular you look for when filling a position in that area? If you were in my shoes, what would you do next?”
An effective closing question will elicit a positive response that, at a minimum, will sound something like: “I’d be happy to pass your resume along and put you in the system.” Company referral procedures and policies differ, but being “in the system” usually guarantees a call from a recruiter, bypassing the application screening process altogether.
Why does this method work? People want to hire people they know – or feel like they know. They trust someone they know to get the job done well, and prefer to work with a friend rather than a stranger. This “I feel like I know you” emotion doesn’t come from a resume.
So, now you know the strategy that’s proven to work, but only ACTION will get you results. Your choice is how to get there. Whether you want to go it alone or hire a professional to guide you, take action.