You do the job search grunt work: search for the right opportunities, submit your resume and complete all of the online applications – over and over again. It’s a numbers game, you think, and in part it’s true. You can’t put all of your eggs in one basket and hope that the one application you submitted will win you the dream job jackpot.
In reality, the average job seeker could apply to over 100 jobs before getting the interview that closes the deal. As few as 2% of applicants actually make the cut and advance to an interview. And, on average, it can take over seven months to land a new job.
But those are averages. Some job searches take even more time, depending on the desired job and the applicant’s approach and preparation. There is one step, however, that might get your foot in the door for the interview and shorten your job search time, and it’s easier than you think.
Ask for the interview – directly.
Career advisors tout the importance of networking, and it is a highly important aspect of today’s job search initiatives. Think of networking as direct contact with the hiring manager or recruiter too.
Reach out as soon as you submit your online application or even before. Explain what strengths you bring to the table to solve the problems expressed in the job posting requirements. Then ask if you can schedule a time for an introductory call. It will help you stand out from other applicants, show you take the initiative to get things done and start a conversation with the hiring company.
How do you find the right person to contact?
Some job postings include the name of the hiring manager or recruiter, but that is rare. More often than not you’ll need to do some digging to find the proper source. LinkedIn is a great resource to find those key insiders. You may also look to your own LinkedIn connections to see if they are connected to employees at the hiring company. They may be able to make an introduction to the recruiter or hiring manager. That search can take some time, so you may want to consider offloading that task along with your search and application processes.
Still, you are left with trying to determine the contact’s email address. You can attempt to send a message through LinkedIn, but many LinkedIn emails are ignored and viewed as SPAM. You’ll be less likely to get a reply. If you have a connection at the hiring company, you may ask them for the address. You may also use an email lookup service, such as RocketReach. You’ll have to pay for the service after your first initial lookups, but the cost may be offset by the value of getting you connected to the hiring decision maker.
Submitting an application isn’t the end game of your job search. It may be the start of your resume falling into a black hole where it doesn’t get noticed if your resume doesn’t show off your accomplishments that relate to position requirements, if your application isn’t completed thoroughly and accurately, and if you don’t follow up. Contacting the recruiter or hiring manager to personally introduce yourself is one thing you can do to with little effort – and one that may have a big payoff.
Fridayd helps job seekers uncover networking connections in addition to searching and applying to jobs on the job seeker’s behalf, saving the job seeker on average 40 hours per month.