In a world population of over 7 billion people, approximately 65% of society is of “working age”. So, how do you get noticed and how do you stand-out in your routine job search?
We believe that our few steps can greatly increase your odds of landing that interview.
1. Be specific
Talk to your network and develop a list of specific target companies. For example, if you say, “I want to work in consulting,” that doesn’t really get my brain working. However, if you say, “I want to work for XYZ company in a consulting capacity, namely leading a team of hardware engineers,” that helps me to understand what you are looking for and to start thinking about who I may know at XYZ company.
2. Know your strengths
Knowing what you bring to the table and clearly articulating it sets you apart from the masses right away. Often, people are not clear on what they can do to specifically help a company. Hiring companies want to know what you can do for them. It helps to answer that question well to your job agent who may then put you through to the interview stage.
3. Research your target companies
Know those companies that appeal to you and appear to be a great fit. If you don’t know about the company or if you don’t really want to work there, it typically shows in a conversation. If you are excited about the potential of working for the company and you have clearly done your research, that will make you extremely appealing and different from the rest.
This enthusiasm can also be identified in written applications and email exchanges that often precede the interview stage.
4. Develop a CV or resume that stands out from the rest
What makes a great CV? Clearly defining what problems you will solve for the company and adjusting the CV based on the job available are two important factors. Also, be mindful of ATS scanners that often filter out candidates for the interview stage.
5. Develop marketing material
What can you leave with a new contact that sets you apart from the other people they have talked to? Professional business cards are a must but what about a biographic? This doesn’t replace a CV, but is rather a marketing piece that visually tells the story of your job history.
6. Don’t be afraid to call the hiring manager
Be polite and assertive. If you know who the hiring manager is, call him/her and briefly state that you have applied for the position. Take the opportunity to alert them to this and let them know that, if they took ten minutes to meet with you, they would find you a viable candidate. The worst thing that can happen is that you get turned down. It’s worth a shot.
7. Don’t rely on job boards
Statistics generally show that 90% of jobs are never posted, and those that are posted are swamped with job seekers taking the traditional, ineffective route.
8. Create your brand utilising social media
Develop your brand as an industry expert using LinkedIn and, if you’re brave, Twitter. Post professional, relevant articles that are pertinent to the type of jobs in which you are interested.
I can’t say this strongly enough. The best way to make it to the top of the CV pile and to land an interview is to network. Your goal is to have someone hand the CV to the appropriate person and say, “I think we need to look at this person.”
10. Follow up
Networking and all the other steps are worthless without the follow up. Be persistent without being obnoxious (be mindful with your persistence and know when to stop).
Ask your contact how best he/she likes to be communicated with and how often. Respect that they have their own priorities but don’t give up if they don’t respond immediately. While nothing can guarantee an interview, taking a proactive, professional approach will certainly increase your odds.