Hold on a Minute! I Thought Job Boards Were for Getting Jobs
I admit it. I spent entirely too much time filling out online job applications, writing custom cover letters and sending in résumés to people I have never met and likely never will. We’ve all heard the saying, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” Well, I guess I must have been insane.
I’m going to step out on a limb here and say that if you’re posting your résumé on the big boards like CareerBuilder or even the specialty boards like The Ladders, you, like me, are wasting your time and in some cases your money and may also be as insane as I.
How many of you are actually finding positions from ads placed on these sites? The data indicate that there are currently 3.3 applicants for every job posting online, averaged. Studies show that 80% of jobs are filled through referrals. With those kind of numbers, I feel like I would have better luck with my time and money if I went out and bought a lottery ticket or played the horses.
I have found that I need to apply the same sales methodology to my job hunt that I did at my last position as an Account Executive. I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I didn’t do it that way in the beginning. After all, what kind of sales exec am I if I can’t even market and sell myself? (Don’t answer that!)
When I’ve sold solutions in the past, I didn’t immediately lead in with the price quote and a contract, so why should I assume that someone will hire me just because they saw my résumé? Before I can sell, I have to understand the pain the hiring manager is trying to solve, and then figure out if I am the answer to his problems. If so, I sell the solution through further consultation. If not, I need to walk away and spend my time elsewhere. But I can’t sell myself by firing off the résumé and waiting for the phone to ring. That’s like firing all my ammo in one shot. Just like my military training taught me, I need to do the reconnaissance missions first.
- I’ve pulled a list of the top ten companies I want to work for, and I’m researching the hiring managers through my own personal network or on LinkedIn.
- I’ve launched a cold calling and referral campaign to those top companies in an effort to get recognition.
- I ask for ten minutes of time with the hiring manager and I simply ask a couple of basic solution selling questions: What keeps you up nights? What is the ideal characteristic you’re looking for? Can we schedule a time to discuss how I might help you address these concerns?
In addition, I’m going to Job Fairs and networking events and getting face to face with as many people as I can. If I’m asked for a resume before this step has taken place, I push back.
If I’m going to spend any time online, I’m spending it implementing a social media strategy. I have increased my connections on LinkedIn, and I’m looking at Twitter as both a marketing strategy and a news feed.
Getting your profile up to date and complete on LinkedIn is a no brainer. Get as many references as you can, but make sure you review their content and the reference is from at least an equal if not a former or current superior. Certainly, if you’re going to take this path as I am, you need to Google yourself. Make sure everything that comes up positively reflects on you. Change your avatars to something that looks more professional. In my case, I decided to remove all the photos of myself in my motorcycle gear. Nothing wrong with letting people know I have a life outside of work, but I don’t want a potential employer thinking that’s all I do. And frankly, I’ve been told I look a little intimidating in my biker persona. Not the best message to send to an employer, yes?
So what else is working? What about getting Google AdWords pricing for CPC (Cost Per Click) on yourself? Is it worth the money? I’ve also seen a few people post their availability up on various groups.
Can someone let me know if that’s worked? I would love to hear your ideas.
Tony is currently looking for work. You can learn more about him at http://www.linkedin.com/pub/tony-ratagick/1/898/b77 or follow him on Twitter @ratagick.