By the time an ad goes in the paper, you are already competing with hundreds or even thousands of other people for the job.
Here is a short list of ideas for getting to the job before it makes it to the paper or on a website:
- Make sure your resume is up to date – This should be obvious. Before you even leave your house on the first morning of job hunting, you need to make sure your resume is ready for prime time.
- Go to your nearby employment agency – Not the ones that are run by the state. Sorry, they are great people, but they are already overwhelmed. It is unlikely that they will have time to focus on you. For profit employment agencies make enough money off of an individual that they will focus on you individually. They will also find out about jobs before they hit the open market.
- Do your homework – Find a list of companies that you are interested in working for that are in your field. Find the department that you want to work for. The next step is to look for the head of that department. That is the person that you will begin to make constant contact with.
- Start marketing yourself – Personal contact cards will be a good thing here. This is where you will make an appointment with the department head and introduce yourself. It can be as simple as, “Hi. My name is Joe. I would like to work for you. I didn’t see that you have any openings at the moment, but I would love for you to keep me in mind when something does come up. Can I contact you in two weeks?”
- Follow through by phone– Contact them in two weeks! This should seem obvious as well, but that follow-through will be what gets you the job. Don’t be annoying. Don’t stalk them. But, each time you contact them, ask their permission to contact them again. If you are pleasant, it shouldn’t be an issue.
- Thank you card – Sending a thank you card to someone who took time out of their day to see you can mean a great deal. This is especially important if you get sent to Human Resources. They see hundreds of people a week.
- Kiss the Gate Keeper – You can stand out by sending a nice card to the person who is not the boss. Very often, the receptionist is the key to being hired; they are often the person who is sent to go through resumes and find candidates for a new opening. The gate keeper is your friend.
Do these things and you will soon have a foot in the door; you are more likely to get the job before it is posted.
Stay tuned for more of the “Marketing Yourself” series.