Network and conduct an informational interview.
I was doing a career coaching session recently with an extraordinary person. He had a solid track record in IT management, project management and leading large organizations towards IT transformation infrastructure and application programs. He had spent several months pro-actively sending his CV around to hundreds of places but was not getting many positive responses or even an invitation to interview?
Are you spending hours hunting the web for potential job opportunities and applying but having little success? If yes, then you are not using the #1 strategy used today to find a new job today. Networking. Did you know that only 20-30% of actual job vacancies get advertised. The horrible truth is that 70-80% of real existing jobs today are not even advertised. They are filled through referrals. It’s so much work to do a recruitment campaign that the manager would rather just have the perfect person come through an internal application or a referral of someone they know and already trust.
How can you successfully network and hope to land a job?
You can contact all your friends and ex-colleagues and ask them, “I am facing a restructuring in my current company. I am losing my job and I really need your help.” How many people get asked for help today? Not many. So this is your golden opportunity to give a friend an opportunity to help you.
You ask them, “can you please do me a favor and find out for me who the HR manager is in your current company and let me know what the hiring process is? Then, you ask your friend to introduce your CV directly to this person. They can also write a small reference about your character.
Remember, when you approach your network of friends and ex-colleagues, tell the truth about why you are on the job market but do not complain. This leaves a negative impression in the person’s ears who you are asking to help you……even if they are your friend.
Conduct an informational interview with anyone you know who is currently working inside a company that you also like. What is an informational interview? You identify interesting companies you want to be part of first. Then, you target interesting people in certain functions at those companies that you think you would also like.
You call them up and say, “hi, I’m considering to work in this area and I want to ask you for 5-10 minutes of your time to understand if this kind of role is meeting with my experience and interests today. Can you please help me?” It’s hard to say no when you use this language.
You can also ask:
“what are your main responsibilities and how long do you spend doing them?”
“what competencies/skill set do you think are essential to have in order to succeed doing this job?”
“What do you like most? What do you like doing the least?”
Once you have built a little rapport on the phone, you can thank them for their valuable time and input and suggest that maybe in the near future, you would like to continue your research and think about this conversation. You mention that you would really appreciate it if you could email directly your CV to them and maybe they could kindly introduce your CV to the recruitment department.
There is nothing more valuable in the hiring process today than having an internal referral.
Prepare your upcoming job interview. Practice live with a career coach.