When people start job searching, they often spend hours applying online and then wait anxiously hoping for a response that doesn’t come.  Why is that?  There are many possible reasons. Some companies receive several thousand applications/ day and don’t have time to respond. Applicant tracking systems sort resumes looking for “keywords” and if you don’t have the right ones, your resume gets discarded. Sometimes the company already has someone in line for the role and is just going through the motions.  And sometimes funding for the role is withdrawn and the company stops looking for applicants.

So what is an eager job searcher to do?  Instead of spending all your hours applying online, diversify your strategy:

  1. Take time to get clear about your career objective. What have you done in the past?  What work are you doing now?  What do you love? What do you dislike doing?  Where do you want your career to be in 5 years?  What type of company or organization do you want to work in? What kind of culture is important to you? What values are important to you re to your work?
  2. Begin to create a list of companies that you would like to work for. Research these companies. Look at your connections- Linkedin or otherwise and see who you know who works at these companies. Reach out to connections and ask for introductions. Have coffee with folks who are employees in these companies and learn about their culture, their challenges, who is hiring etc.
  3. Network your way in to the hiring managers. Check out the Linkedin Profiles of these managers and join professional organizations and Linkedin groups that they belong to.
  4. You ideally want to hand your resume directly to the potential hiring manager or to an employee who can hand your resume to that hiring manager- for current or potential openings in the future.
  5. We know that about 80% of all jobs are found through connections, so think about putting 80% of your energy into networking- informational interviews, coffee meetings etc. And many large companies have employee referral programs that give employees a hefty bonus for bringing in a new employee—so don’t be shy about asking!

Bottom line:  Continue 20% of your time focused on online openings, but don’ t stop there-let people know you are searching and when you network- ask people if they know someone who works in one of your top three target desired companies to work for, and go from there.  Let others help you!

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