looking for a job

How Most Job Searchers Really Find Jobs (and you thought you knew how)

If you take time to study the job search process, you’ll discover the #1 way people connect with jobs is through referrals. Everyone in the recruiting industry already knows that the best people get jobs by either moving internally within a company or they are promoted. The remaining new hires primarily come from referrals.

If you’re a job seeker, you should stop applying to job boards as your primary target and shift your mindset to building relationships instead of just looking for jobs. Consider this transformational thinking to put yourself in control of your job search.

  1. Spend No More Than 15% Of Your Time Applying Directly To Job Postings. Unless you’re a perfect fit, it’s a waste of time. It’s also important to note that many posted jobs actually don’t exist. Many recruiters post jobs to collect resumes for future use, for market research or to collect data to determine average pay rates. Sometimes companies will hire recruiters to look for candidates and set up a contract where the recruiter won’t recruit from the client company to fill other positions. This strategy is like an insurance policy where no jobs actually exist and the recruiting firm will not recruit from that client company. You as a job poster and left wondering why you never got a call.
  1. Use Job Postings As A Leads And Go To The “Back Door”. When you find a posted job, try to find out the department manager or someone connected to the hiring manager to target as a referral contact. Avoid going through HR as an entry point to a company. Use the “back door” which is getting a referral from a company insider who can help you bypass the competition and get in front of a hiring manager.
  1. Become A Real Networker. Networking is not about meeting as many people as you can. It’s about meeting a few well-connected people who can introduce you to a few well-connected people you don’t know. Never forget that you have to give to get when building a network. Think of ways to help people get what they want they will help you get what you want.
  1. Do Some Homework. An MBA student prepared a competitive analysis for a company he had targeted. He sent it to the VP of Marketing and got an interview. Consider a mini-project like this to demonstrate your capabilities.
  1. Offer A Low Cost Trial Employment Period. There’s always a risk when an employer hires someone. To reduce this risk, offer to work on a small project on a contract or temp-to-full time basis at a reduced rate so an employer can try-before-they-buy.
  1. Practice a 2-Minute Answer To Key Questions. Find a bunch of standard interview questions and force yourself to answer each question out loud for no more than 2 minutes. The #1 reason most people fail an interview because they talk too much.
  1. Control the interview. Ask an interviewer to describe what problems they need solved. Then give a 2-minute example of what you can offer as a solution for each one.
  1. Define What Makes You REMARKABLE. Don’t focus on your qualifications. It’s better to define what you can bring to the table that will help company make money save money or solve a problem. Do your homework so that you can clearly focus on what solutions you can bring to the table. Making an effort to understand a company’s needs will make you stand out among other candidates.

The key to the job search process is focusing on relationships instead of jobs. Spend 80% of your time outside your office or home talking to people and getting them to like and trust you. Job search is a process not an event. Take the time to build your network while you are working.

Research has shown that referred candidates are twice as likely to land an interview as other applicants, For those who make it to the interview stage, referred candidates have a 40% better chance of being hired than other applicants. Get referred and get hired. It’s the secret sauce that makes all the difference.