Special to CareerPath® by Dewey Sadka
Getting interviews? If not, perhaps it’s time you learned how others are meeting HR decision makers. Here are some effective but indirect ways to get noticed by the people who can get you hired.
Best Referrals Are a Friend of a Friend
Ask friends, “Do you know anyone who might know someone?” Then, don’t be afraid to discuss your job search wherever you go-at the gym, church, ballgames, parties, social media and so forth. When the opportunity presents itself, be open and honest about what you’re looking for.
Attend Association Meetings In Your Field
Search for associations in your career field and attend their meetings and networking events. Meet and greet potential employers and other professionals. When you walk into the room, look around and see who is there and who could help you. But be equally generous and see if there are people whom you can help, too.
Find Your Social Media Fit
For example, advertising and branding companies might prefer Twitter. . “Soft sell” your skills by telling them what you dream of doing and having some interaction with the company, even if it’s with the social media community manager. Since your career is relevant to the brand, you could find support.
Referral Do’s & Don’ts
When finding the right people to refer you, especially at a networking event, avoid pitfalls by being the person they want to give support.
1. Don’t be nervous or shy. Smile. Keep it light. Others will see you as confident.
2. Don’t make it all about you. After saying hello, get them to talk about themselves. Listen for how you can support them.
3. Don’t ask for a job. Chances are even if they work at the perfect company for you, they’re not the decision maker. And if they are, don’t put them under pressure. Remember they’ll need approvals from others.
How Do You Win Support?
Now that you’ve created an open listening, here’s what to do.
1. Do speak with enthusiasm about the job/career you’re seeking. Ask for a business card. Then ask, “Do you know anyone that you can refer me too?”
2. Do end the meet-up by looking them right in the eye, giving a thank-you handshake and sending a résumé right away.
3. Do send them industry articles. Take their advice and tell them how you did it. If they’re not sure about your experience, offer to work as an intern or for a smaller salary.
What If It’s Not Working?
Perhaps it time to transition into a more in-demand field?
1. Apply for a related more in-demand occupation. Look online for career niches or specialties within your chosen field.
2. Search them on BLS.gov. Click on similar occupations.
3. Consider getting more opportunity and pay with a certification course or additional training.
Customize and Critique Your Resume
Brand your résumé by customizing it to fit the job. After you’ve developed three or four. You’ll find you can use them over and over.
What’s Your Hire-Ability Value?
Before you start, ask yourself these bottom-line questions.
1. “Where in the marketplace are my skills and experience most valuable?”
Maybe you can focus on less competitive areas with more job openings to get your foot in the door while still utilizing your talents and getting noticed.
2. “What can I do to emphasize that I’m the most desirable job fit?”
3. “How can I overcome a no-hire weakness?”
For example, offer employers in the cover letter, “I’m willing to work as an intern to gain experience and skills.”
Would You Hire You?
Get to know the company and any of its key personnel beyond the job description. Check out the website. Research the company online. The more you know, the more you can target your résumé to overcome rejections.
Are You Emphasizing Your Assets?
Add more emphasis on the skills that match their requirements. Elaborate more on the duties and accomplishments that they will find desirable. Then, adapt your goal and job description’s wording so it’s clear you and the employer want the same thing.
Are You Using Their Words?
Words can be misleading. Each industry is different. Rewrite your past experiences to better fit. Wherever possible use the words in their job posting to customize your résumé. Take out what’s not related without showing an employment record gap.
Your Final Resume Critique
Now, take a break to clear your head. Then review your résumé. Will it grab the employer’s attention in 10 seconds? If not, what else can you do?