It is tough to be out of work and looking for another job. Millions of words are written every year on this subject.
Many of those words are useless.
They focus on writing a killer resume (that may never get read) and how to ace the interview (given that you ever get in the front door).
The key to finding a job is proximity. I don’t mean geographical proximity. I live very near Apple Computer and have never been able to crack my way into the company. My son went in as easy as pie. But me? Nope.
By proximity I mean that you have to get yourself inside the world of the people who are doing the hiring. Roughly 70 % of all jobs hired are filled by employee referral.
So it helps to know people who know people who know the people who are hiring. You can polish up your resume and interviewing skills all you want and still not get to first base.
These days job boards and company websites make it very easy for job hunters to fire off resumes which end up in multifaceted black holes.
“God, I never heard from anyone. All I got was an electronic message.”
Thank you for your interest in Zoogler. We will review your resume and if there is any interest we will get back to you…….NEVER!
As one friend of mine said, “Hey, it’s free to push the send resume button.” And of course he is right. But he admitted that he had never gotten a job that way.
Most job hunters take the “send resume” alternative. It is very passive. They feel like they are accomplishing something and it is too painful to think that a very small percentage of jobs are filled that way. The other 30% of jobs are not filled by people who submit resumes. Some are but it is a very small percentage. Employment agencies fill in a big part of the gap. Jobs are often filled internally through transfers and promotions. The percentage of jobs that get filled by someone sending in their resume gets really teenie-weenie.
So what can you do?
Okay, so go do your resume. But remember that these days many hiring managers are looking at your CV on a PDA. Like a Droid or iPhone screen. Not very big. So make the resume simple.
But start you search even if your resume is not at the Mona Lisa level. A simple clean resume with your job history and objective will do.
BUT START YOUR SEARCH!
Oops. That keeps getting in there, doesn’t it.
Starting your search means letting people know you are looking. This means email, phone, text, in person, coffee, breakfasts, lunches and drinks. Dinner even. You need to start spending your day connecting with people. 5-10 people at least.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO ASK FOR ANYTHING. People are always telling me that it is tough for them to ask people for jobs.
OKAY! I get that. So don’t ask. I mean literally DO NOT ASK. I rarely if ever ask for work.
I network with folks. I have three goals:
1. Find out what is going in their lives. Who knows maybe I can help them out.
2. Let them know that I am looking. See! Now they know I am looking for a job.
3. Ask them who they know, that I don’t know (yet) with the goal of reaching out and growing my network. Pssst! You gotta get their contact info. You do the reaching out and reference your common friend’s name in the subject line. So if you friend is George Washington then…..
Subject: George Washington sent me
That will at least get their attention.
By the way, I do the reaching out. My friends may be busy and not get around to it. Once I have the contact information, I take the lead. I am the most motivated and I want to have control of my search.
Some will respond and some won’t. But if you get networked with enough contacts and eventually talk to them either in person or via the phone or even via email, your chances of being introduced to a hiring manager is goes up sizeably.
If you network really effectively you will eventually know which jobs are moving in your space. To be really good at networking you should try to arrive at this level of expertise. To know is the key and critical thing. Not only will be able to put yourself in proximity to get jobs but you can also help others in your network.
So at the beginning my network might look like this. I might reach out to eight people.
I talk to all of them and they each know people I don’t know. So they refer to me to people. Pretty soon my network looks like this.
I never stop networking by the way. There is never an end date as long as I want to work. This includes once I get a job.
If I stop networking (and many people do) then I am dooming myself to have to repeat the whole process again sometime in the future.
Keep reaching out. Grow your network. It is your unemployment insurance.
Help others. Pay it forward.
Don’t take rejection personally. You don’t have time for it.
No, I haven’t forgotten the interview. But that is a separate post.
Even Beasts of Prey network
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