By the time a company lists openings on a public website, you’re already behind.
<insert confused look here>
As a hiring manager myself, I would prefer to interview and employ candidates from within the company first, friends of an existing employee second, and complete strangers third.
The Employee: Existing staff are already familiar with the service offering and our company culture and it provides them with a visible career path.
The Friend: Employees will only recommend friends who they KNOW will perform at or above par, because their reputation is at stake as well. A hiring manager will generally get referrals of solid candidates who are ready to go and will do what it takes not only to get the job, but to ensure their friends reputation remains intact.
The Stranger: They don’t know about the company culture, don’t have ties to maintain, are unproven, aren’t vouched for, and could be costly to bring on board and train.
“But… but… but… I’ve received calls from jobs I applied to on Monster!”
Great! But if your job search strategy is hinged on search alerts from popular job boards and staffing agencies who could care less about you, your approach is flawed.
Instead, apply for positions before they’re made public to the rest of the world, where competing with hundreds of candidates makes life… a little more difficult.
Tweak your job search strategy:
1. Create a list of 50 – 75 companies in your desired geographical area.
2. Identify the hiring manager and proactively send a cover letter and resume inquiring about openings.
3. Send reminder emails once a month to stay front and center.
When the job does open, your resume will be readily available and they’ll already have some level of familiarity with you. They’ll know you WANT to work for THEM. You didn’t wait until they advertised a position, you sought them out and said, “Listen, I’d love to work for you, do you have any openings?”
Simple tweaks in your job search strategy such as this can help propel you to the front of the candidate pool, remove unfamiliarity, and plant the seeds of trust.