One of the most frequently asked questions I hear is, “How do I get someone to actually look at my resume?” What they mean is how do they overcome the online application portals which receive, on average, 118 applicants.
However, the interesting thing is that when my answer inevitably requires networking, professionals are resistant to the idea.
Now, you can find articles that try to help you trick the system, however, that is what EVERYONE is trying to do. The goal here is to stand out, and I wanted to share a few ways to do just that.
1. Get a referral
Find a friend, family member or new Linkedin connection to meet with, explain why you are qualified for the role and ask for a referral. Many people are eager for the opportunity if you are a genuinely good fit for the job because many companies offer compensation for finding new employees.
2. Say hello!
Thanks to technology, it is rare to imagine a person who cannot be contacted. Whether its through LinkedIn or tracking down their BUSINESS e-mail address – let’s not completely stalk people, friends – it is not that difficult to have a conversation with someone, or at least to ask for that conversation. Sending an independent e-mail to the HR representative you believe to be responsible for that position is a 10-second way to help you stand out in the crowd!
A recruiter’s job is to find the right candidate. Now many people find working with recruiters to be difficult because they ONLY want to talk to the best candidate, the candidate they can be confident will land the job. But, of course this is true, because their compensation is based on filling the position. It is your job to convince them and any other hiring manager that YOU are the best person for the job.
4. Have a simple, effective resume.
Recruiters spend 6 seconds looking at a resume. It doesn’t need to be perfect, but it does need to be easier to read. Your resume should be simple, straightforward and pleasant to look at (a decent amount of white space!).
Now it is up to you. You can continue to be annoyed by the system or you can make a shift in your application process…what are you doing to do?