I often hear from people, “No one is responding to my job appplications.”
Well, the truth is that merely applying for a job isn’t enough. You have to do more than than.
A client of mine is doing a great job at this.
She is deep into her search for another role in her field. She was excited to tell me that she has been having lots of valuable conversations with folks she already knows, and some new ones she has made contact with, and she’s quite excited.
I was excited, too.
This is an area many people struggle with. It’s not easy to reach out to people during a job search. You feel like you’re bothering them. You are convinced they won’t respond; why bother?
Let me try to convince you: This is the best thing you can do. It’s better than submitting applications and waiting. It’s better than waiting to be found by recruiters.
1. If you want to make things happen, you have to make them happen.
2. The best jobs are the ones you learn about from people. Great hiring happens between people.
3. You can find out a lot of great stuff about companies by talking to the people who work at them.
My client started her process by getting clear with herself about what she wants; things like:
- The role level
- The type of work
- The hours
- The flexibility
- The pay range
- The management style
Then she began to reach out to people she already had done business with, to let them know (confidentially) that she’s checking out the market and wondering what’s new at their company; or what they’ve been hearing lately.
She also reached out to someone who works at one of her target employers. She found out a bunch of information about the company, like the hours she would be expected to keep.
“I would know that nowhere until I got into the job,” she said. “I found out that they are located on the West Coast, and they expect everyone to keep those hours. And that wouldn’t work for me.”
Just so that she can be confident about communicating, my client has developed her own replicable contact method.
“I always check out the person I’m going to ask about, first. I look at their LinkedIn profile. I ask myself, ‘What do I know? What can I figure out based on their profile?’ You sometimes just get a sense of whether they will respond to you. Sometimes, I reach out anyway, because maybe the might remember my message or check out on my profile. Maybe you’ll go back and look.”
Here’s her message template:
Thank you for connecting!
It’s interesting that <insert a fact about them>
I am an <insert title> looking for my next opportunity.
I saw X company (their company) has an X position and I would love to chat about how [insert something about the goals of the company].
I’m including my availability and email below to setup a chat.
It’s possible for you to put a calendar link in your message, too. You can get a free account from many different sources, including Calendly.com. Once you have a date in mind, you have lots of options.
LinkedIn includes a way to set up a video meeting.
Look in the direct message box. At the top left, click on the camera icon. If you want, you can set up a meeting this way.
So, this week, make it a goal to reach out to three people who work at companies you are interested in. You might be surprised at what you discover.