Would you bet on a horse in a race with only a 2% chance of success or one with a 50% chance of winning? Silly question, I know. But some people looking for a new job will focus all their attention on the very large Internet websites to reveal the job of their dreams. The percentages of being discovered are low because of the extremely high volume of traffic. The large computer sites are impersonal, can’t differentiate between candidates with talent or potential, nor can they determine organizational fit.
The highest percent of success in connecting with a hiring manager is through the people who know you, your capabilities, plus know the location of job openings. These are the people who should be in your network: Past bosses, co-workers, associates, family, friends, trade association members and about 100 more. These are the people who can speak positively about your past work, who can vouch for your contributions and become your advocate within a hiring organization.
It’s estimated that more than 50% of hires are through referrals from networking. In fact, a referral that gets an interview has a significantly better chance of getting hired than other candidates. Why? Because a hiring manager will trust the opinion of a valued associate when there’s a few finalist candidates. Wouldn’t you want to interview a candidate who is recommended by a trusted co-worker who has performed at a high level with them?
Actually, your percentage of getting an interview goes up dramatically when all of your job search strategies are put into action: Networking, on-line job sites, executive recruiters in your field and association members. Another overlooked way to get your message out is to publish an article about an innovation, idea or results from a project. The exposure in an alumni bulletin, trade organization or general field-related material can go a long way for an interested organization to contact you to learn more.
Another source are those direct or indirect contacts through LinkedIn, Facebook, or other social media vehicles. You can also use these same Internet applications to research the people who will be interviewing you about a job opening. Their bio’s are available for you to see and any connection you might have with them: Schools, companies, mutual business associates and so on. Knowledge is power. You want to know more than your competitors for the job you want.
Last suggestion: When you have your job search strategy in place with all of your alternatives sources, roll out your plan in progressive steps, rather than all at once. Minimize your overlap, duplication and confusion.
Remember: You want to be discovered as a valued contributor, not as a commodity like everyone else.
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