If you are looking for a job by looking at the online job boards and applying online, then you are in for a lot of work. It’s true that online job postings are easy to search and applying from the comfort of your own home office seems to be socially easy, and low risk. It’s also low reward and time intensive. Count on about forty applications for each interview. Then count on ten interviews for each job that you land. If you do the math, that means that you fill out 400 job applications or send out 400 resumes online for one job. Does that still sound like an ‘easy job search technique’?
There is a better job search technique, but it takes some work upfront.
Step 1: Identify your most promising position. Make sure people are truly hiring for this job, by looking for job listings filled. Also make sure that you have the skills for this position.
Step 2: Identify a few promising companies that you can work in this position for. Learn whatever you can about what challenges these companies face and what they value in employees.
Step 3: Find out who within that company is the decision maker about hiring for this position. You can use public records,or the knowledge of headhunters or the knowledge of colleagues working within the company.
Step 4: Use your network to introduce you to this contact. This can be your personal network of friends and colleagues, or your online community on LinkedIn, or can be through a common networking event. You may be able to meet this person, or may be able to talk to someone who can give you an introduction. If Jane is the decision maker and Joe has referred you to Jane, use this as a simple introduction, “Joe suggested that I talk to you about this position.”
Jane will probably tell you to apply through a process, but you will have an inside edge–your name will be familiar to her and Joe’s influence will lend you credibility.
Step 5: Repeat. The more decision-makers who are familiar with your name, the better your odds of landing the job.
Also notice that your research of the company and the decision-makers will give you an edge within an interview. You will know why you want to work for the company; why you want the job; what challenges the company faces and how the company ‘ticks’.
This technique requires thought, work and willingness to engage with your network. It’s not easy, but far easier than 400 resume submissions and 400 rejections.