If you really want to end your job search with a job you will love, you need to find a contact within the company to help you. You can greatly improve your chances of success by learning how to identify a contact, ways to contact someone and remain professional, and how to remain proactive in your job search.
- If you complete a job application online and attach a resume, but no one ever sees it, does your resume really exist? If you have spent hours crafting your resume only to have no response at all to an online application, chances are a real person never saw that application. Less than 30% of people applying for jobs using online applications ever receive a real response. This is because up to 50% of applications are screened out by the applicant tracking software used by the company.
You will probably receive an auto response that acknowledges receipt and then if you're lucky, you may receive a notification that the job was filled months after you initially applied. If you are certain you are not only qualified, but you are the best person for the job to which you have applied, there are steps beyond the submission of an application that you will need to take. Starting with getting an actual person to review your resume and placing your resume into the hands of a decision maker.
Conducting a proactive job search requires you to make contact with at least one person within the company where you want to work. So how do you ensure an actual person sees your resume? Begin by identifying the person or people that you want to see your resume. Use a combination of LinkedIn and Internet searches to identify people who work at the company you applied to. You want to find someone in the human resources department or the head of the department in which you would probably be working.
You can also search the company's Twitter handle and see which employees follow them. Determine if the company has a Facebook page and look there for contacts. This isn't about finding any person who works for the company, it's about finding a person who would care that you are contacting them. I mentioned HR or the head of the department you might work in, so let's address two questions you should have at this point. How do you identify these people and why would they care? Starting with how to identify them, let's start with HR, and let's start with a few assumptions.
So assuming we're talking about a large company with several offices, the HR department is going to be large. HR consists of employee relations, workforce management, talent management, trainers, recruiters, business partners, and many other choice titles. But for your part, the only group of people you'll be looking for are the recruiters. Anyone else with a different title is not going to be very helpful to you. The other group of people you need to identify is the hiring authority in the department where you assume you might work.
This will be more difficult depending upon the size of the company, but again, using our assumptions, if you're in marketing, it would be a good idea to start with identifying the VP of marketing or a marketing manager. Moving on to why would they care, a recruiter has a role to fill and if you meet their requirements, they actually want to find you. The same goes for the head of the department. An open position means everyone else is doing more work. Things are falling through the cracks and no one's particularly happy.
In most cases, it's in the best interest of everyone to fill the vacancy as quickly as possible. Once you have found a name, find the business phone number or email address of this contact. You can use Google, LinkedIn, and your own network to get this information. You'll be amazed at just how much information is at your fingertips with just a little effort. With this information in hand, a simple phone call or email is all you need to do to ensure your resume gets seen.
If you're not sure what to say in a voicemail or in an email, remember, the goal is to prompt someone to actually read your resume. So it's a good idea to make the call after hours so that you will get someone's voicemail. This works for a couple of reasons. First, you leave your name, phone number, and the position you applied to so that they can write it down at a time that is convenient to them. Second, you're not catching them off guard and making them feel that they have to give you a positive response.
And third, you're not catching them when they're probably busy, and the last thing they want to do is talk to a candidate who's resume they haven't even seen yet. In your message, don't ask for a return phone call. You don't ask for them to email you information and don't ask the status of the job. You simply want them to look at your resume. By increasing the chances of getting your resume into the hands of an actual person and out of the applicant tracking system, you increase your odds of being called for an interview.
Stacey explains what to include and exclude on a resume and how to showcase your talents and best qualities. Using practical examples, Stacey walks through choosing the right format, tailoring information to match job requirements, and writing alternative resumes that include industry-specific information. Last, Stacey shows you how to deal with some common sore spots—like job hopping, lack of experience, or unemployment gaps—while concentrating on your experience.
- Explain how to present your experience on a resume.
- Identify where spell check will not catch mistakes.
- Recognize the proper way to present your dates of employment in your professional experience section.
- Recall when you will need a traditional resume in the entertainment business.
- Explain what you could do to fill in the void on your resume when you have been unemployed for over six months.
- Name the benefits of sending a handwritten thank-you note following an interview.
- Identify some things you can do to help you identify and eliminate red flags before applying for a job.