Monthly Archives: September 2018

Qualify the Jobs to Which You Apply

There are basically four ways to find a job:

  1. Respond to a job advertisement.
  2. Apply unsolicited.
  3. Work through a professional recruiter.
  4. Network to a hiring need.

Although networking is, far and away, the most effective method to find a job, most job seekers waste the bulk of their job-searching time responding to job ads.  This is because networking takes courage and is therefore hard, while responding to job ads is easy.

When I coach job seekers, I don’t want to discourage applying to job ads completely.  Instead I recommend applying to one (1) job per day, and spending no more than one (1) hour preparing an effective application.  Spend whatever additional job-search hours you have available: networking.

If you give yourself only 1 hour to prepare an effective application and submit it, you don’t want to waste time by selecting a job that is a long shot.  “[O]ver 75% of resumes sent by candidates are NOT qualified for the role.”  These unqualified candidates are people who are constantly wasting their time taking ridiculous long shot after ridiculous long shot.  So, instead of quick-click applications, I coach job seekers to select the one job ad that they are MOST qualified for, and spend no more than an hour tailoring their application materials before submitting.

  The linked article (here, above, and in the quotation) gives some great advice on qualifying the jobs to which a candidate should apply. Ask yourself:

a.) Do my responsibilities today or in the past align directly to those listed in the job description (or are they highly relevant)?

b.) Do I have the required skills, educational, and industry qualifications noted in the job description?
If you can’t clearly answer “yes” to both questions, it’s a long shot, so continue to look for a job for which you are better qualified.
There is other useful information in the linked article, so I recommend taking a few minutes to read it.

Fear of Networking?

“She said that she contacted many people, and nobody helped.”  I have to say I find this statement completely unbelievable, and probably fictional.  Some people love being overly dramatic, and when you call them on it, they usually admit they were exaggerating.  I like being data driven, and as a job seeker, you can’t afford to be driven by inefficient emotions and erroneous beliefs.  Job searching is difficult, often repetitive, work.  If you are acting on the erroneous belief that people mostly are mean and won’t help, you are going to waste a lot of effort and time.

In my experience, which I have recorded and backed up with data, when you contact local people professionally through LinkedIn, about 50% will end up meeting with you face to face over lunch or at a coffee shop.  More than 50% will initially agree to meet with you, but conflicts will arise, and that number will fall to ~50%, according to my personal experience.  If you are not reaching that level of effectiveness, there are probably ways you can hone your approach.  If “nobody” is helping, you are definitely doing something wrong to put people off when you contact them, or you are not actually exercising the courage it takes to contact people.  Misinformation, like the quote above, discourages people from contacting others.  Sure, it’s hard, but it’s not insurmountable, and it is much, much more effective than simply applying to job ads on Indeed.

Reach out professionally.  Be humble, be relevant, be accommodating, and whenever possible get introduced.  There are very rare occasions when an introduction is not obtainable, but usually that’s an indication of poor planning or laziness.  Getting an introduction is not unseemly.  It demonstrates a willingness to work for what you want, an ability to plan effectively, and a genuine commitment to the task at hand.