“Most advice about getting the job of your dreams if highly misleading and even damaging”. And it goes something like this: review your CV million times to make it perfect, send it to as many people as possible, upload it on any recruitment platform existing out there, all in the hopes that you will be selected out of the million other candidates that are just as qualified as you are and are doing exactly the same thing as you are. You can understand how difficult it is to find the right grain of sand on the beach? Yet everyone is doing the same, and I can personally add myself to that list. I am guilty!
“Research shows that most people are hired outside the normal application process”. The only way to get out of this, is to try to be better than anyone else or approach the problem in a totally different way: you need to start playing a game that improves your odds. By applying for the right job.
When you are in need of a job, desperately, you have the tendency to apply to just about anything or anywhere, without caring about the important details. Now, in these current times, this scenario is almost normal and understandable…the world as we know it has changed, and so many are out there jobless since months, desperate to land any occupation that can save them from doom. I have been there. So I understand. But if you have the possibility to hang on a bit longer, you should be selective and apply for the right thing for you, with the salary that you expect and all the other working conditions that would otherwise be non-negotiable for you in normal circumstances. You also need to remember that, the organizations hiring there are looking for the same thing as you are: the best possible candidate in the least amount of time possible.
“In highly competitive environment, just keeping pace with what others are doing isn’t enough. You need to be doing something to give yourself a real advantage”:
- decide the job title that you want
- create an artist’s statement that describes your future self, focusing half on your past accomplishments and half on what you hope to achieve in future ‘
- ask 5 people for help – hand pick these people and send private personal emails asking for specific help, such as leads, connections, introduction to someone
- make sure you show interest as a strategy – read about the company, visit it if you can, find out what is their purpose and any other relevant information that can show the organization you are applying for, that you care
- decide to just start working and see what happens – easier said than done and probably difficult in our part of the world
No matter what, I personally believe that the best way to find the right job for you it’s through referrals, by knowing someone that knows someone and that can recommend you. The middle person, the one between you and your possible future employee, knows both parties and can connect you together to make the perfect match happen, which is beneficial for all. Also, “weak ties”, as they are called in the book, “are incredibly valuable when it comes to looking for a job. “People we know only casually, tend to have much different networks of friends and acquaintances, that can open more doors to more people, thus introducing us to more opportunities than our friends”.
“Success isn’t found completely in persistence; it’s found in working hard and smart. Try, try again, but do it in a strategic manner…quality matters over quantity. The goal, is not necessarily to connect with more people, but to connect with more of the right kinds of people”.
Next up, we will talk about how to become indispensable for your company, so not only you will never have to worry about your job security again, but you will also be able to dictate the rules…well, at least some!