If you’re like most job seekers you’re getting pretty frustrated with the lack of responses that you’re getting from applying online. It’s the primary strategy that most of us use and unfortunately it’s also the least effective. If only 8% of jobs are landed from applying online and 70% from networking then this should come as no surprise. Most people are aware of this too and so they do what they can to leverage their network. Unfortunately, this strategy often falls short too. Why? Oftentimes your network is too limited. You’ve only got so many connections and so you’re limited to those companies where your contacts work.
Targeted and Strategic Networking
By the time I start working with someone it’s clear that they’ve tried both strategies and neither are working. This leaves them feeling discouraged because they’re not sure what else to do. Fortunately, there’s a third strategy that works like a charm if you know how to do it effectively. It shouldn’t come as any surprise that it has to do with networking. But this isn’t any kind of networking. What I’m referring to is a targeted and strategic networking campaign that puts you in the driver’s seat of your job search.
Enter LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a job seeker’s best friend for many reasons. One reason is that it gives you the chance to connect with whomever you want. What this means is that now if you know where to look and who to target you can start setting up meetings with people that can get you in the door. It might seem like an easy enough thing to do but considering that most of us are aware of this tool already it’s clear that it’s not.
It’s a Numbers Game
One reason is because this is a numbers game. X number of invitations sent equals Y number of connections equals Z number of messages you can send out. Most people send a few here and a few there and don’t understand why they aren’t getting enough informational interviews scheduled. The reality is that a few here and there just doesn’t cut it.
Joe is the best example of how this works. Joe has been consistently having three or more meetings every week with strategic contacts in the music industry. He’s been doing this for a couple weeks now and as a result he’s closer than he’s been in months to landing his dream job. By following my system, over the course of one week, he was able to send out over 300 LinkedIn invitations which resulted in 60 new connections and several informational interviews booked. Another client, Chris, used this same strategy and in less than two weeks he had scheduled multiple meetings that turned into interviews that resulted in two great offers, one of which he accepted.
Conversations are Your Currency
This strategy works. Why? Because in a competitive job market you’ve got to distinguish yourself from the 100+ other people that could be applying for that role. Because most people aren’t willing to go the extra mile. Because once someone gets on the phone with you they’ll come to understand that you’ve got the chops for the role in ways that would never come across in a resume.
Resumes don’t work. Don’t rely them. Rely on yourself. If you honestly believe that you’ve got what it takes to be successful in the role then all you have to do is put yourself in a position to have a conversation with someone who’s willing to listen.
Conversations Lead to Interviews
Once you get to the point where you’re starting to have these conversations, all sorts of opportunities will open up to you. If you understand how to successfully navigate these informational interviews you’ll then have trusted confidants on the inside who can be your greatest allies. Not only can they tell you about the company, the culture and the role but they can also tell you what type of people they’re looking to hire.
Don’t leave these meetings to chance either. They’re too valuable. Prior to an important informational interview I’ll share with my clients tips on how to get the relationship to the point where they’re now ready to vouch for you and submit your resume internally. At that point you’re pretty much golden. This is what I mean when I talk about putting yourself in the driver’s seat of your job search.