Are you out of work or looking for a better job? WalletPop recently offered some helpful advice that can be summed up in two words: concentrate and connect. Job search author/coach Gordon Curtis said many job hunters make the mistake of believing that sending out lots of resumes will improve their odds of success. A better approach is to concentrate your search, being more specific about the type of work you’re looking for and identifying about 10 companies to pursue.
Then, of course, use your social network to find someone at the company with whom you can connect. Once you find someone, don’t just ask them to refer you for an open position. Set up some time to talk. Here’s what you’re after in this conversation. First, instead of asking them to put in a good word for you or submit your resume on your behalf, ask if you can use their name when you apply for the job. If you don’t know your contact well – a friend of a friend, for example – they’re not likely to make a very strong recommendation. Asking for permission to use their name instead may work better in helping you get your foot in the door and then you can sell yourself. Second, ask good questions about the company so you can talk intelligently about the organization during an interview. And third, in addition to asking your contact to help you, genuinely express your desire to help them.
Are you a hiring manager? What have recent successful applicants done to stand out? If you’ve recently found a job, what advice did you receive during your job hunt that helped you the most?