Making personal connections by phone and face-to-face remains one of best ways to get hired but considering workforce changes due to COVID-19 and huge growth in social media, online communications are effective tools for professional networking that can lead to a great job.
Online research and networking via social platforms—especially LinkedIn—will get you so far. But then it’s time to be intentional about building awareness and interest in yourself and letting hiring managers know you want to be found.
Here is our quick-fire guide to helping you get spotted:
- Build awareness. Before consumers buy a new product, they want to try it. Before they want to try it, they must have interest. Before they can have interest, they must have awareness. So, the first step in marketing a new product is to build awareness.
Now let’s apply that to job search. Before an employer hires you, they need to interview you. Before they want to interview you, they must be interested in you. Before they can have interest in you, they must be aware of you. So, the first step with each prospective employer is building their awareness of you. You are a brand after all.
- Make multiple impressions. Most candidates think that applying for a position online builds awareness. As an organization that specialized in executive search, we can tell you that there is no assurance that submitting your resume online creates awareness. Your resume could be buried in a stack of 200 or parsed incorrectly into a database, making it irretrievable by title or name search.
Also, the hiring manager may have relaxed the specs since your resume was initially ruled out and the recruiter may not go back through all those resumes to determine those that now fit. The bottom line is that only applying online is an insufficient effort, especially if this is a job you really want.
It takes five to seven impressions before awareness is created, and it’s the fifth, sixth or seventh impression before our brain makes the connection. An impression is an opportunity for awareness. In advertising, each commercial you view, or skippable advert you see online is an impression. And one, two, three or four impressions is not enough.
Let’s apply that to a job search. Applying online is impression one. Calling the next day to make sure your resume was received could be impression two. Calling the next week to say you will be in the neighborhood and would love to put a face to a name could be impression three. Getting to impressions four, five, six and seven can be hard, especially if you don’t know a lot of folks at that company. LinkedIn can save the day by helping you identify folks you know that work there, or used to work there, or a hiring manager you don’t know but you know someone that does
Networking with LinkedIn
Recruiters often look for potential hires by using keyword searches. So, make sure that the keywords associated with the jobs you are seeking appear in your LinkedIn profile. Also, make certain that your email address is in your LinkedIn summary, so folks who aren’t first connections have a way to reach you.
Once your LinkedIn profile is complete, it’s all about your connections. If you don’t have many connections on LinkedIn, you need to work to grow them.
Lastly, recruiters and HR managers often are gatekeepers, protecting the hiring manager’s time. When applying for a position directly (not through a search consultant), you should consider networking into the hiring manager, ideally via someone who is influential or who the hiring manager trusts and respects. To find the hiring manager, search the company on LinkedIn and likely titles for the manager who is hiring for the position you want. If you are one or two connections away, reach out to mutual connections to learn about the company and the hiring manager.
Social networking is one of the best ways to increase your chances of being found by an employer and getting an invitation for that interview that will help you land a great job.