Job description. Application. Resume tweak. Cover letter. Automated “thank you” email. Annnnnnnd wait. Then repeat this like 10 times a day.
Or you can go about this a little differently.
Sometimes, getting the job you want could benefit from a more human touch. Your resume is strong (because you used all the tips in Turn Your Resume into an Opportunity Magnet 🙂 ) but you want a little more assurance that you’re not just going to get an interview, but that you’re going to get the job. That’s why we’re here, right?
And if there was a way you could get in the door without filling out another application or writing another cover letter, you’d love to know about it, right?
Well, here are 3 things you can do, instead of applying for jobs, to help you get your next job. But before I get into that, let’s first answer this:
What is the point in applying for a job?
To get a job. Duh, Naya!
Yes, I know. But, beyond that. Why do you need to apply?
Because the company doesn’t know who you are. Yet. You need to get on their radar.
So you apply. You send your proof of ability (your resume, your portfolio, etc) and fill out some tedious application. Then you wait for them to get back to you.
That’s how it happens, typically. But what if you were already on that company’s radar? What if they already knew who you were? What if they already knew they wanted to—at least—bring you in for an interview? What if you were the ideal candidate?
Well, if that were the case, you wouldn’t have to fill out those super long applications (that you know no one reads) and wait while they finally sort through them and maybe get back to you eventually. You’d skip past all of those formalities and get straight to the interview. It happens for other people—it can happen for you.
Those people have already made it on to someone’s radar.
How do you do that?
Raise your profile
More people in your industry need to know who you are. They need to know what you’re good at, what your track record is, and what you can do for them.
Hiring is expensive and time consuming. Companies would rather have good employees than have to look for them. If they already knew where to look, they’d just go there and pick the best talent. If they already knew what you have to offer, and knew where to find you, both you and them would be happier.
They don’t want to tell everyone no. They’re only hiring because they want to tell someone yes.
I also help companies develop their employer brands. Meaning: I help companies make candidates see that they have a lot to offer as an employer. These companies want to attract the best talent. They spend a lot of money on this. Believe me, they want to hire the best person they can for the job. If that’s you, make it easy for them by showing them why.
So, to raise your profile, you need to know which people have the power to open doors for you and you need to make sure they know why you’re amazing at whatever it is you do. This is tricky if you don’t know what your selling points are. Unless you’re an entry level employee, “I learn fast and I work hard” aren’t gonna cut it anymore. So, what do you bring to the table that other candidates don’t? Once you can answer that, ask yourself: who needs to know this so that people start reaching out to me for opportunities?
Then go find them.
Spread the word
People need to know you’re looking for new opportunities. If you’re keeping your job search on the hush-hush so your current employer doesn’t find out, then be discreet—but you still need to put the feelers out. There are people in your network who know about opportunities and can get you connected faster than you can get yourself connected. Let that happen.
If your network is kind of slim, or if most of the people you know are in a different industry then…
This isn’t just showing up at a networking event and hoping to meet someone you really want to know. I’m talking about being specific about who you want to know and making an effort, through your network, to get some time with this person. You’ll need to know a bit about your industry and the people in it. You can’t just look for “any manager” or “just someone who works at X company”.
You need a first name and last name. A company name. A professional title. The names of professional organizations they might be in. The university they went to. How to reach them. And you need something to talk to them about.
Your conversation cannot just be “It’s so great to meet you. I heard you’re hiring. Can you hire me?”
You could have done that in an email.
If the people you need to meet aren’t easy to reach with your existing network, then you need to make a plan to meet this person.
And you need to do it without being creepy.There are people in your network who know about opportunities and can get you connected faster than you can get yourself connected. Let that happen. Click To Tweet
If this sounds overwhelming, I get it. You’re starting from scratch with this. You’re already spending lots of time applying for jobs. Now I’m telling you to do these other things. Some of this might be so new to you that you don’t know how to start. Breathe.
First, take stock of what you have going for you in your career. Know what you’ve done well and what you still need to work at. Talk about the things you’ve done well at with people who can make connections for you and work on the things you’re not good at. Get clear on who in your network can help and get strategic about meeting the people who can help, but haven’t met you yet.
This is a lot easier to do with guidance. If you want to go at it alone, take these tips and run with them. If you’re reading this and you wish you had a tutor or someone to sit with you while you organized all of this and got your life together, you want to check out the Career Brand Audit. I have a step-by-step video and workbook to help you through this.
This audit is designed for you to use every time you look for a new opportunity. So, yes, use it when you’re looking for a new job, but don’t stop there. Thinking about speaking at a conference? Use the audit to assess your career brand’s value for this opportunity. Thinking about joining a professional organization? Use the audit to make yourself a standout addition.
Career Brand Audit
Get into this audit if you want to:
- Identify the skills you have that will help you get the job you want
- Discover what’s in the way of you getting the job you want—and fix it
- Gather the resources to build the skills you need
- Identify key members of your network who can help you get the roles you want
- Strategize building connections with people who can enhance your network and open up career opportunities for you
- Identify additional ways to raise your brand’s profile so that your career brand gets opportunities for you on autopilot