In an article on job statistics, Resume.com reported that recruiters typically spend only 6 seconds looking over a resume on average. In such a short span of time, even the most qualified candidates may be overlooked if their resume's formatting doesn't seize the recruiter's eyes right away. Such is the nature of the beast when it comes to the current state of the workforce and the extremely steep competition for public job listings.
While some may understandably be a bit anxious about competing with thousands of other candidates for a chance to snag that 6-second window for success, there are other applicants who can afford to be far more relaxed: those who get to the jobs before their existence are even publicly announced. Contrary to popular belief, these inside-track hires aren't exclusively reserved for those already hired by the company in question. The following are strong, simple and practical strategies that you can use to gain leverage in your job search with advance notice on emergent job opportunities.
Get Involved in Conversations Concerning Your Field
All throughout the year, significant events occur that either directly or indirectly affect the future of your career's industry. Very important and well-connected people are constantly discussing these things in surprisingly accessible places, such as LinkedIn. If you're well-read on topics that concern these matters, don't hesitate to get involved. Simply being genuinely invested in exchanging ideas and perspectives on hot topics can highlight you as a viable candidate to unseen recruiters and industry leaders following the discussions. You can also use the discussion as a way to build rapport with other engaged professionals in the field and transition into private 1-on-1 chats. Once personally connected, you can share what your ambitions are and gain a potential reference for job openings they hear of the process.
Go the Extra Mile to Show Gratitude for Insight and References
While many people connect with mentors and industry leaders through internships and job fairs, you can always get in contact on your own accord even without a formal arrangement or program. Beyond just giving them an opportunity to talk about their own achievements, reciprocating the nuggets of wisdom from experienced professionals with a gift to show your appreciation for their time is a strong way to stand out.
While you naturally want to be discerning about when you choose to use this method and to whom the gifts should be delivered, the gift itself doesn't have to be extravagant or expensive. If you build up some rapport to learn about their interests, you'll have an even easier time picking out something to match their taste. Something as simple as a small terrarium or coffee blend sent to the right person's office with a handwritten thank you note can be an excellent way to stay at the top of their mind.
Create Valuable Content to Display Value without Demands (Until the Time is Right)
Many job seekers going the standard route are fixed in a "give me a job so that I can show you what I'm capable of" mindset, but it is far more effective to flip this imperative around to the opposite direction: showing proof of your competence first and then making it visible to the people who can pull strings that lead to jobs requiring your talents. Note: this is not the same as working for free.
Promoting self-authored, well-researched articles or videos that you've tailored for an audience of your peers can be a very effective way to display value and show initiative. If relevant, the content may even have room for information that you can share about your own professional experience through anecdotes that help deliver the points being made.
You don't have to advertise the fact that you're seeking a job, or that you hope to have a conversation with a decision maker to get the intended effect. The value that you share through creative and valuable content can essentially frame you as an asset for any company. This also can put you in a more powerful position to negotiate the terms of any subsequent job offers that may be made down the line.
In summary, three strong and effective ways that you can compel people in your target industry to notify you of publicly undisclosed job openings are:
- Making your voice known in public discussions about current events in your field to connect and share mutual value with colleagues who have desirable employers
- Reaching out for helpful insight from key professionals and giving a gift with a personalized thank you note to stand out in their minds
- Creating well-researched, authority-establishing content to attract the right "wandering eyes" of decision makers
While it may be common knowledge that high-quality connections create high-quality opportunities, you don't need to be best friends with hiring manager or related to the CEO by blood just to learn about a job opportunity before it's common knowledge. Simply getting more creative and engaging about how you get the attention of the right people can pay off in the long run. Here at Nextaff, our mission is to help you reach the best possible position to flourish in your career path. To learn more about strong job seeking strategies you can use to stay one step ahead of the competition, contact us today.
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