Have you ever searched for something so much but was looking for it in a completely wrong direction? The same is true when it comes to searching for jobs. Landing your dream job shouldn’t be as hard as people think it to be – it doesn’t have to be! But when the only way most people know how to search for jobs is the wrong way, you can guess the resultant effect.
The conventional search for jobs is to spend so much time on the internet searching for available positions. After seeing a job with juicy offers (or just any job for some super desperate people), applicants try to craft a perfect CV and then send it to the Company. From there on, applicants keep their fingers crossed and hope – or rather pray – that they get called up for an interview.
While this method works to an extent (of course, there’s no denying the importance of submitting a perfect and impressive CV), it is not the gold standard. So, if searching for jobs online and then submitting highly polished CVs is not the gold standard, what is it? The answer? Good relationships and problem-solving skills – these are what land you a job! The CV is just a requisite for getting heard. I’ll tell you all about that in a bit.
Start Searching for Jobs the Right Way!
When we first launched Reventify as a Smart CV builder, we knew that creating the perfect CV is the first step to getting noticed by a Hiring Manager. In today’s competitive job market, where you have hundreds of applications for a specific job, you’ll need to prove that you can do what your CV states before getting hired. This is why a good reference is essential to your prospective employer and can refer you better than someone on the inside who can vouch for your skills.
If you’re used to consistently applying for several jobs without hearing back, then this article is for you. The person that got the job probably did a lot more than just send out generic CVs. I’m going to make this article brief and straight to the point so that you can refine your job search strategy and get one step closer to landing your dream job. Let’s launch!
Recruitment Starts Even Before Online Adverts Are Placed
The first thing you need to understand about the recruitment process is that it starts before the job listing has been posted online. In larger organizations, a job posting could take a few weeks to get approved and posted online. During the time that the job position is awaiting HR/Management approval for an external candidate, the hiring manager is already proactively on the lookout for candidates that match the job description. So, below represents an ideal job application process flow for many of the jobs you see online:
- Step #1: Referrals from Network
Here’s a little secret you may not know about. When you see a job posting online, the hiring manager has already started requesting referrals from their network. People from their network will then suggest candidates they feel are the best fit for the job.
- Step #2: Shortlisted Candidates from Previous Interviews
Candidates that have been previously interviewed and shortlisted would also be considered for future roles at a particular company. This is because the candidates have already passed through the due processes of CV submissions and interview sessions. They may not have gotten the jobs for specific reasons – a better-qualified candidate, little experience, etc. – but now, it is expected that they would have done the necessary work on themselves to make themselves more valuable.
- Step #3: Headhunting/LinkedIn Search
Headhunting (aka Executive Search) is when hiring managers (or board of directors and executive recruitment executives) recruit people to fill senior positions in an organization. If a key position/role is vacant, recruiters can explore the option of searching through LinkedIn for people to fill in the role.
- Step #4: Job Listing
Finally! This is the iceberg that many people manage to see! Hiring managers are aware that posting a job online would result in hundreds of unqualified candidates. Still, they usually would do this as a last resort or because the company policy states that all jobs must be posted for external candidates. This doesn’t mean that the hiring manager would go through all the candidates’ profiles that apply.
Technology has made it easier for human resource personnel to find what they are looking for from a pile. Most large companies now use the Applicant Tracking System to weed out candidates that don’t match the skills they are looking for. The Hiring Manager could either use keywords or search by candidate names. Why do you think they search by candidate names? They are looking for people that have either reached out to them personally or people that were referenced and had to go through the company application process!
How to Search for Jobs the Right Way
Now that you have more clarity on how the job application works most of the time, what do you think you need to do to improve your odds of getting a hiring call?
- Don’t start with a job listing
Start with a company that has many problems that are worth solving and are usually recruiting. It means they’ll have a dedicated HR team.
- Find and Connect with Senior People in the Company
Find senior people in that Company, such as the head of departments, to connect with based on your skills. If they are active on LinkedIn, you can build a relationship by building a rapport and then asking for informational interviews. During these interviews, you can have a direction on which problems exist, and then you can focus on helping to prepare a PowerPoint on how you could solve a specific problem.
- Request to join the Company in the Future
Inform your connections that you’re open to joining the Company in the Future. This is how I was able to develop 7 job interviews in less than a year without applying to a single role! I understand that this is more of a long-term plan as many of the job interviews came after about a year of building networks in those companies. Still, it’s usually worth it as I can easily negotiate a fantastic compensation structure.
If you’re passionate about getting a job, then you must be intentional and deliberate about it. Don’t search for jobs like a host of others are doing it – dare to be different! The most important thing is that you see to build solid networks even before there’s an opening at your Company of choice.