If you’re looking for a job, there’s a good chance you’re applying online. And, chances are good that applying online is your go to option. It makes sense. The last time you reached out to a HR person at a job fair or on LinkedIn (or anywhere else), they said, “Apply online. If you’re a good fit, we’ll call you!” They may even have said, “Don’t reach out to us. We review every application carefully.”
Don’t be fooled. In most cases, they’re giving you the company line. They’re telling you the official rules of the game. But, this is the thing: people hire people. Yes, you heard me right. People hire people.
Most hiring managers do not post a new job and then think, “I sure hope our company website lands me a great hire this time!”
Most hiring managers post their jobs to the company website because they have to. It may even be automated. When they got the approval to hire someone, the powers that be took a copy of the job description and uploaded it into a system somewhere – and bam, it showed up on the company website.
When a hiring manager gets approval to hire someone, this is what they typically think. “Hmm… do I know anyone who might be able to do this job? Or… I wonder if I know anyone who knows anyone.”
This process makes sense if you think about it. When’s the last time you found a new doctor solely from the internet? You probably asked friends for a recommendation. Iif you couldn’t find a recommendation, you may have looked at reviews online. But, chances are good you asked around first. It works the same way with hiring.
Does this mean you shouldn’t apply online? No. Apply online. But, then think of how you can meet the real life people who will be making this important hiring decision.
If you go the route of applying online only, it may take you hundreds of applications to land an interview. I hear from people every day who have applied to 100 or more jobs online, only to receive very few callbacks.
If you’re the exception to this rule, awesome. There are exceptions. For example, you may have a skillset that’s rare where you live. Or, maybe you do something that’s incredibly specialized. I have a friend who is an Abinitio developer. Ever heard of it? Me either. And because this friend has such a specific (and rare) skillset, he could probably apply online and get a call back. But, most jobs aren’t like that.
Go old school with your job search to find success. Find the hiring manager and get your resume to them – via a friend, email, or US Mail. The internet is amazing for research. Never have we had so much data about companies at our fingers. But at the end of the day, people hire people.
Angela Copeland, a career coach and founder of Copeland Coaching, can be reached at copelandcoaching.com.
Social media isn’t part of a job search. In order to find a job, you only need a resume, business cards, and a nice suit. Right? This was true – if you were looking for a job in 2001.
In today’s wired world, there are so many more options available to you. Why not try them? After all, submitting your resume blindly just isn’t working. If you want to try something new, social media is a great place to start.
Hands down, the best social media site for the job seeker is LinkedIn. It’s an extension of your resume and a Rolodex of your contacts all rolled into one. I often hear the question, “Do I really need a LinkedIn page?” The short answer is yes. LinkedIn is free and it allows you to decide how much you share and with whom you want to connect. In fact, there are estimated to be half a billion users on LinkedIn from over 200 countries.
Use LinkedIn to expand on your resume, connect to old colleagues, and grow your network. The LinkedIn search tool is a great way to find (and to connect with) your future boss. It can also be a great way to learn who else works at your target company.
But, don’t stop there. I have been impressed at the number of business executives who use Twitter. It’s not uncommon to tweet to someone in the C-suite, and to actually receive a real response. It can be an unexpected way to grow a new relationship.
Another site you may want to consider if you’re in a creative field is YouTube. An advertising agency CEO once shared with me that some of her most impressive applicants submitted a short video about themselves via YouTube. It helped them to get the agency’s attention in a sea of other applications.
The one social media I would think twice about using is Facebook. Facebook has long been considered a private space to connect with friends and family. In fact, if you send a stranger a direct message, Facebook will typically filter it out of their inbox by default. That means that the person may never see your message. So, before using Facebook, try other social media sites.
Using social media in your job search can give you a leg up on your competition. It can also help you to shape your online presence. After all, when a company searches for your name on Google, your social media pages are certain to be the first thing that pops up. Think of Google search results like the new cover letter. Your social media pages tell a personal narrative about you and your beliefs.
Don’t worry too much about bothering the person you’re contacting via LinkedIn or Twitter. Social media is just another form of communication, similar to email or phone. Be professional and polite and you’ll find an entirely new way to grow your network. It’s far more effective than blindly submitting an application on a website.
Angela Copeland is a Career Coach and Founder of Copeland Coaching and can be reached at CopelandCoaching.com or on Twitter at @CopelandCoach.
Thanks everyone for your positive feedback about yesterday’s interview. ICYMI, check it out here. I talk with Marybeth Conley & Alex Coleman at Live @ 9 on Wreg News Chennel 3 about one of the newest trends in hiring!
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