You’ve done everything right: the sharp resume, follow-up calls, hours of research – and nothing seems to be working. All of your hours of labor and sweat into getting the job you want, and the roads seem to lead to nowhere.
I feel your pain – even when you are doing everything right, the process of finding the perfect job can be a real struggle at times–I know that from experience!
So what’s going wrong? How can we fix it? Well, part of the problem is a simple numbers game (This article provides a lot of insight on what happens after the resume submission process). With the incredible number of applicants for each and every job – it takes quite a bit to stand out.
1. Target specific Jobs:
As the article above shows, even with a great resume, it sometimes can be difficult to get the attention of employers. That’s why I always suggest that you target 3-6 jobs that are especially fitting for your needs and goals. What does targeting look like? Well, it is not just about picking a job, applying online and hoping for the best. It is about coming up with a specific strategy to get in front of the decision maker and impress. Why only 3-6? Because, (especially when you are out of work) you should pour so much time and effort into your favorite openings that you don’t have time to target any more.
2. Use Relationships:
As a resume writer, you would think that I would continually talk about how a resume is the key to a successful job search. Yes, I do think that it is the foundational tool that you must use. But, I also know the facts: 80% of jobs come in one way or another because somebody knows somebody … there is always a lot more to it than that, (you still have to use other tools like a resume and a good interview) but sometimes to get the process started you have to leverage a relationship. Don’t be afraid to ask previous clients if they know anybody. Don’t be afraid to get on LinkedIn and send 25 messages to people you know asking for an introduction. Don’t be afraid to name-drop when you follow up with a company.
3. Follow Up, Follow Up, Follow Up!
I mentioned this before, but it is absolutely essential that you convince the targeted jobs that you will make them look good. Convince them that you will drive profits. Convince them that you are going to make their business grow! They don’t get this at your “first pass” submissions. You absolutely must tactfully get in front of them over and over again. Show your determination, show that you want it!
So, how do I put these tips into practice?
It varies depending on the specific job you are looking for, but this might help point you in the right direction:
With every job application, there are minimum job posting requirements that start the process of the job application. This usually means submitting a form online and perhaps some other basic information about yourself. This is where most people give up – and this is why most people struggle to get the job!
Don’t stop! Once you’ve submitted the basic job application, that’s when the real work starts. Here are some ideas:
Idea Number 1.
After you complete the basic requirements, is when you start doing everything you can to get their attention and impress! Show them that you care, show them that you feel like you are a great fit – show them that you will make their business grow.
Idea Number 2.
Research, read, learn. Find out everything you can about these companies – go whole-hog into learning their culture and mission and how the hiring manager thinks! This will not only help you determine if the job will be something you like, but it will also help you impress them because you have put the time into learning to “speak their language”.
Idea Number 3.
Then you need to begin to get in touch with the right people in a tactful way. Hopefully they saw your resume when you posted it, but it usually not at the first pass that it catches their attention. (Think about advertisements … how many times do you have to watch/see them before you would go out and buy the product?) Find other ways to get in front of them again … advertise yourself!
Idea Number 4.
One simple thing you can do is to write a targeted cover letter, specific to that position and specific to that hiring manager. Make them feel like you are speaking their language, that you are a perfect fit for them. (I do offer a resume and cover letter service if you would like help). Why bother with this? Because they don’t care about you! They care about hiring someone that makes them look good (it’s the way business works). So show them that you will make them look good and drive profits.
Idea Number 5.
Another thing you can do is mail your resume via snail mail. This helps you stand out from the crowd by showing initiative – and once again getting your name in front of the right person! This doesn’t always get you a job, or even guarantee that it will be read (though I have some instances where it did both) but it at least puts your name out there another time.
Idea Number 6.
Stop in and drop off your resume – talk to the hiring manager in person. When they can put a name with a face, (and a great personality) that has the potential to make a big difference!
Idea Number 7.
Be creative! Find other ways to tactfully get their attention … Maybe this means following them on LinkedIn, maybe this means going to a networking event that they are at. Maybe this means posting your info on a billboard in front their office (yea that’s a bit extreme, but it has been done). The point is, you have to find ways to get their attention … You have to do that before they will consider you for the interview.