You’re active on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, as well as posting resumes on Monster, CareerBuilder, and HotJobs. You search, and apply for jobs through Indeed, Simply Hired, and LinkUp. You’ve been building your ‘brand’ online and even have a VisualCV. You post regular updates and tweets, and you ‘engage’ with people online. You check out any new resources and ways to connect online, but you still are no closer to a job than you were months ago. What’s going on? Social Media is supposed to be the new ‘Holy Grail’ for a successful job search! Isn’t it???
A lot depends on how you use those online resources!
Many people spend the vast majority of their ‘job search’ time in front of a computer because of the obvious vast resources available there. How else could you possibly find so many opportunities in one place? There’s no question, all of those resources are tremendous… but they only pay off if you take the information you find, step away from the computer, and contact real people… on the phone and face-to-face!
When you send an introduction through LinkedIn, become a ‘friend’ on Facebook, send an email, or apply for a position online, you are no more to the recipient than one of the hundreds of other faceless, voiceless pieces of data they receive from the 90% of others doing the same thing. They become interested in the candidate that calls, presents themselves professionally, and asks for a meeting. That’s a real person!
People hire real people – not an email, online connection, or resume!
Any recruiter or hiring manager will tell you that they receive more applicants per open position than they ever have. And the only way to sort through all those applicants is to scan their information quickly, usually no more than 15 to 30 seconds per resume. If a resume matches the opening, it tells them nothing about the personality, culture fit, or professionalism of that candidate. The only way that can be determined is over the phone or in-person.
The only way you can be considered for more than 15 or 30 seconds before a decision is made about you, is to talk to someone!
All of those online resources are tremendous tools to find opportunities and who to talk to, but only your initiative to call and persistence to get them on the phone will make the difference between being an applicant and a prospect for them.
So what should you do?
Here are some tips:
When you find an appropriate opportunity, find a contact. Use LinkedIn, JigSaw, or Google to search people at the company and find someone with an appropriate title to call.
Don’t contact them through LinkedIn, but call the company and ask to speak to the person directly.
Before your call, get prepared. Know the objective for your call and write a script.
Have a script prepared in case you get their voicemail. Make it brief, professional, and let them know you will try to catch them again later.
Search for and target companies that are of interest to you, not just job postings. Again, find a contact, call, and build a relationship. Be professional!
Ask for an informational interview, or who else they would recommend you contact, or for their advice on how to best be considered for a position.
Use the information they give you to call and meet others face-to-face as well.
When you connect with someone on Facebook, or Twitter that appears to be a potentially valuable contact for your job search, be sure to call them directly as well.
Online resources are a tremendous place to find information, but people hire people, not emails!
Go online to create your call list… then get on the phone!