I had a conversation with a client this morning about his nephew who has just graduated on The Dean’s List, asking if I could find him a job. Much as I hate to say no to a client, I said no. Sort of.
I actually suggested his nephew call me and then it occurred to me that I could write a blog post about how I could put myself and all recruiters out of business. That’s fine, I was ready for the new career in busking anyway.
1. Don’t rely on Recruiters. We’re a great group of people and all but the challenge is that most of us are more focussed on the client side and won’t invest the time in getting to know candidates. Unfortunately, I will even put myself in that group.
2. Make that LinkedIn profile a masterpiece describing your experience. And make sure that your subheadline also says “Currently looking”.
3. Use LinkedIn to reach out to people who might be able to refer you to people who can actually help you. Don’t bother with recruiters for the most part, we have way too many connections to be able to foster those new relationships. Note, I said “refer you”. You can pretty much guarantee that the first level contact is not the person who can help you, it’s the person that they know. Think “Six Degrees of Separation”. If you can’t, Google it.
4. Don’t ask them for a job. Ask to buy them a cup of coffee. Ask them for help, offer them a cup of coffee. It’s a smaller decision so they’re more likely to say yes.
5. Make sure that when you do that they know your referring contact. Why? Because they’re more likely to invest the time in you.
6. Set goals and objectives. Remember, you’re basically selling yourself. Salespeople have sales targets. The kind of objectives that you might consider are X number of new LinkedIn contacts a week, Y number of cups of coffee, Z number of resumes sent out.
7. Put a list of the top 20, 50 or 100 companies that you want to work for. And then bookmark their job pages so that when a job is posted to their website you see it. Many companies continue to post to their own websites first so get the jump on any relevant postings.
8. Go back to LinkedIn to find second level contacts who are working at your target companies. Now find a way to get introduced to them and get yourself a compelling story and introduction.
9. Don’t be afraid to apply for a non existent job. Huh? Why not? Send out a resume to each of those target companies.
10. And here’s the kicker to 9. Mail the resume, email the resume and follow up with a phone call. Research has shown that when somebody hears your voice they perceive you as smarter. If you’re following up on a sent resume then you’re even acting smarter.
In general, a buyer needs about 7 contacts to buy, remember that when you reach out to company, if you really want to work there then that may be the first of 7 contacts.
And good luck with the search!