The unemployment rate has been increasing every month. If you’re like most of the 17 million Americans who are out of work, you can’t afford to wait for the economy to improve before you find employment. You need to start the new year with a new job.
But how? You’ve been applying for jobs online, networking with professionals in your industry and using every resource at your disposal. How are some other people getting multiple job interviews and landing positions quickly, despite the odds?
As the founder of a job search consulting firm that specializes in getting people back to work quickly, I speak every day with talented professionals who have fallen on hard times. Most of them are highly skilled and experienced people who have fallen victim to the downturn in the economy and the newly accepted practice of laying off workers as the first step in decreasing company expenses.
To get clients back to work quickly, we execute a comprehensive job search strategy that includes the following three highly effective tactics:
1. Create personal connections with recruiters.One of the most overlooked activities in searching for a job is creating personal connections with recruiters. You can do so with a telephone call or by sending an e-mail directly to a recruiter, expressing your interest in a position. Do it within a day after you apply for a job on the company’s Web site. It greatly increases the chance that your résumé will be reviewed and that you’ll get called in for a job interview.
How do you find the recruiter in charge of a job posting and get that person’s contact information? The easiest way is by using your network to find someone who works at the company and asking them to research the job posting on the internal job site. Most mid-size and large companies post a recruiter’s name and e-mail address with each internal job posting. If you don’t have a contact at the company, try asking someone you know with a large network to help you find one. We’ve noticed a sharp increase in the number of job seekers using AttractJobsNOW.com’s Recruiter Contact List service, which provides job seekers with a customized list of recruiters who handle the jobs they want at specific companies. We’ve found this to be one of our most successful tools for helping job seekers get interviews.
2. Focus your résumé on the current need. Employers have been struggling to maximize productivity with ever fewer employees. When you see a job posting, assume that the company lacks expertise for a project that needs to be completed immediately, and that’s why they’re hiring. Your best chance of getting a job interview and a job offer is by identifying that company’s need and focusing your résumé, cover letter and interview strategy on it. A candidate with expertise in the current need has the best chance of landing the position.
3. Market yourself as an expert. With unemployment the highest it’s been in years, employers know it’s a hirer’s market, and they are selecting talent that has expertise in a current need but that can be paid a low salary because of the intense competition for jobs. When there are so few jobs and so many highly experienced people angling for them, opportunities for a generalist are almost non-existent. Why hire an all-around good employee when you can get an expert at the same salary?
When you apply for a job, brand yourself as an expert in your field. That, too, will increase your chance of getting an interview and an offer. If you’re a marketing professional and a company’s current need involves a pricing analysis project, market yourself as a “marketing professional with expertise in pricing analysis.”
Starting the New Year with a new job may be very possible if you personally communicate with the right recruiters, focus on their companies’ current needs and market yourself as an expert.
Jerome Young is the founder and president of AttractJobsNOW.com, a job search consulting firm.