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Applying for jobs on line is useless unless you do this

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We have all heard that tapping the hidden job market is the best way to find a job. Why then, do so many job seekers continue to apply for job after job on line knowing full well their resumes will only end up in the black hole? Why, because applying on line takes little effort. If this sounds like you, you need to rethink your job search strategy. What you need to be thinking about is how to get your resume into the hands of the person who really needs to see it – the hiring manager.

I am not suggesting you stop applying on line. I am recommending that when you do apply via conventional channels, such as a company website, you also look for other ways to get your resume to the person who has the power to hire you.

J.T. O’Donnell, Founder of CAREEREALISM, suggests you ‘leverage your professional network so when a job you want is posted, you can reach out to your colleagues and ask them to help you get your resume in front of the hiring manager’. This is a two -pronged approach and means getting your resume in the back door at the same time you have applied via the front door. This is tapping your referral network and we know for a fact that over 80% of jobs are obtained via employee referrals.

If your network is small, one of the best ways to grow it is to get on LinkedIn. Start by connecting with colleagues you have worked with at past companies, including managers you have worked for. Add customers and suppliers you have engaged with over the years. Look up friends and those you have met via community involvement, church, your kid’s school. Remember the 1:50 principle in networking. Everyone you know knows at least 50 other people from various parts of their lives. The likelihood that someone in your circle of connections will know someone who works in your target company is very high. For more tips on networking see my article, ‘3 steps to maximize your network’.

The next time you apply for a job on line take your job search one step further by networking your way into the company. Hitting the send button on your laptop is useless unless you have a solid networking plan to get your resume in front of the hiring manager. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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