Old way of getting a job: Apply to a couple jobs online everyday. Send my resume to those I think might help. Research companies. Never hear back. Get discouraged, and give up.
New way of getting a job:
Maybe you need a new job or are looking for a new job – but you’re not having much luck.
I can tell you that if you just send a resume in to a company, the odds of them calling you back are less than 20%. Why?
Because most jobs are filled by internal referrals.
The focus therefore should not be on sending out more resumes or applications, but becoming internally referred.
Here’s how I would personally approach that:
Step #1 – Research
Most conventional wisdom like sending resume’s and doing research is conventional for a reason. It can work, but it has to be done in the right order.
Once you’ve got a list – identify what position you would want, or what you would want to do for that company.
Step #2 Begin Connecting
Connect with as many people on LinkedIn from those companies as possible.
It’s pretty simple – since each company shows you a list of all the people who work there.
You don’t have to say anything, just request to connect.
As you connect with more people from those companies, more of them will accept your invite.
Step #3 Outreach
Message people you’ve now connected with on LinkedIn with this script:
“Hey (Their name)! I hope you’re well – I really admire what you do at XYZ company and the company for (reason x) and (reason y)
I was hoping to ask you a couple questions about your work and the company if you’d be open to it – I’m thinking about my career moving forward and would love to learn from you about why you’ve made the career choices you have.
Here’s what I’d be interested in talking about:
- (Well researched and thought-out question about the company)
- (Well researched and thought-out question about the person)
- (Question about the future direction of the company, NOT OPEN POSITIONS or if they will refer you)
I completely understand if you don’t have time, but if so I am available next week Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday morning.
Let me know if you can spare a minute to chat.
You only need 1 person to respond in the affirmative. If they don’t respond in 4-5 days – just send a follow up message:
“Just following up – is this something you’d be open to? If not I completely understand.”
Step #4 – The Call
Come well prepared for the call – and ask them about them. Focus the conversation on them. As you ask questions, their responses will prompt more questions from you. Repeat back what you hear. This call is not about you – it’s about them.
As you start to finish your questions, they will start to ask about you. That’s when you share about you.
After they finish asking about you, thank them for their time, and ask if there is anything you can do for them.
Do not ask for them to refer you.
Simply ask that if you have any more questions if they would be open to talking in the future.
They will almost always say yes.
Since you didn’t ask for them to do anything for you – ask if there is anyone else that you should have a similar conversation with at the company.
They will probably give you a couple of names.
Ask if it’s okay for you to tell those names that this person referred you to them.
They will say yes.
Thank them for their time and send a kind thank you follow up note after.
Step #5 – Repeat the call process with 3-4 more people
You now have 3-4 champions in the company who know your name and most likely like you.
Send anything that would be helpful to those people after you have calls to them.
If they mentioned they are fan of something – gift something to them. Be kind, gracious, helpful, and courteous.
Step #6 – Apply to the company with those 3-4 People’s Help
After you have 3-4 people you’ve built a relationship with in the company, find a job that you want to apply for and tell them you are going to apply. Ask them for the best way to do that. They will know their companies internal processes and how to get you through.
With 3-4 referrals, you will be top of the stack for an interview.
Keep those people updated through the interview process.
You are likely to get the job with a fantastic offer.
This works because you genuinely connect with other people and sincerely help them. In return they will help you. Doing this is MUCH more effective than sending out hundreds of resumes and applications.
Let me know how it goes!