You’re feeling low.
You have finally had enough of your unappreciative boss and the stagnant salary you have been paid for the past 2 years. Asking for a pay rise has fallen on deaf ears (despite you having taken on extra work) and if you have to deal with that arrogant client one more time, you might just end up doing something you regret.
So, you take a deep breath, tell yourself you will take action and actively start looking for something new, where you will gain not only the salary but the appreciation you rightly deserve. Good for you.
You update your CV and look at all of the usual job posting sites. You sign up to receive interesting job alerts from some key websites. A flurry of phone calls follow from several recruiters. Phone calls which you secretly have to take in the staff toilet (!) You are promised to be called back once the recruiters have spoken to their client. Everything seems to be moving in the right direction.
The wrecking ball start to swing your way. Some recruiters never call back with any feedback, some tell you the client has decided to fill the vacancy internally, some tell you, your experience is not quite up to scratch (even though your skills did match the job spec) and you are left with a handful of interviews with roles that are not quite what you are looking for. But you are being persuaded to attend the interviews anyway.
Not what you needed.
What if you were in control of your own destiny? What if you could find out first- hand what really happens with your application? What if you worked with a partner who could tell you which jobs are coming up before they even get advertised?
If you like the sound of this, note the points below.
1) Create your chances strategically. Get networking.
In an ideal world, you would get all of the best job opportunities flooding to you whilst you sit at your desk pretending to work. In the real world, this is not the case. Job adverts online tend to be the vacancies that recruiters are finding hard to fill for one reason or another e.g. bad employer brand perception, very niche roles, low salary offered etc. The hottest and most desirable vacancies are the ones that recruiters hold back for their best candidates.
You need to get yourself out there. And by out there, we mean not only network with key recruiters, but also attend after work/weekend events where key players that operate in your industry will be attending. If you are a technical sales person for example, sign up to receive alerts for networking tech events local to you. This will enable you to have the chance to personally introduce yourself to potential new employers, swap business cards and find out more first hand, from other employees what it is like to work for them.
By doing this you will be much more informed about potential new employers and what’s going on internally within their organisation. You may speak to a hiring manager that mentions they may be growing their team. This is the perfect opportunity to build on your own ‘personal brand’ within the marketplace. Tell them what work area’s you have covered and present them with your business card. This virtual ‘first interview’ will stand you in good stead if you decide to make a speculative application in the future. You will be streets ahead of other job seekers.
2) Get savvy on social media
The power of face to face encounters is immense, but you have to make sure you are firing from all angles to secure that hot job. More and more companies are now bypassing the traditional and more expensive route of advertising their vacancies on job sites and taking matters into their own hands by posting vacancies on their company LinkedIn or Twitter pages.
Make sure you have a well thought out and professional social media profile (see our social media guide to do this) and that you are ‘following’ all of the relevant companies in your industry to see what updates are being posted. We kid you not, some people have been invited to interview within 30 seconds of their application being made via Twitter. So keep those eyes peeled and get following those key individuals you want to connect with.
3) Work with a talented recruiter
Recruiters are ten a penny and for most candidates they follow the same pattern as a bad first date. Things look promising for a while, you consider trusting them with your feelings, and then you never hear from them again. Hardly heartbreak hotel but a waste of time to say the least.
Now, to have a good relationship with a recruiter you will need to go on a few first dates. But offer no commitment upfront (your CV in this case, or the permission to use it).
Meet them face to face, ask them who they deal with within the organisation they speak to you about. If the answer is HR, chances are they won’t be in a position to steer the recruitment process. Their job will be to send your CV and wait to see what HR thinks of it.
If you find they have a relationship directly with the hiring manager/more senior decision maker then give them a little more of your time and commitment (CV and the permission to use it). Chances are they will have a much higher likelihood of selling your skills and more importantly personality to secure you an interview.
The hiring manager is more likely to interview you if they have a direct relationship with the recruiter. It’s the equivalent of going on a blind date through Tinder or a blind date through a trusted friend. Unless you live on the wild side, we know which one you would pick.
Finding a new job is never easy. You can waste a lot of time getting your hopes up only to be let down again.
To be in with the best chance of bagging the hottest jobs on offer you need to take control.
Get yourself in front of key people by networking with industry specific individuals.
Connect and follow them on social media to keep abreast of internal shifts within their organisations and make an application when the timing is right.
Don’t forget to work closely with a trusted and well connected recruitment consultant who can continue your hard work for you by opening doors within their own network.
Are you doing enough to find the best job, faster?
Like this post? You may want to take a look at How to Become More Hireable