You may feel like you’re completely at the mercy of others in your job search. In some ways that’s true, but there are many things you control. For example, you can create a perfect profile on LinkedIn – that’s under your control – but you can’t make people contact you.
What else can you control? Most job help professionals will advise you to pick some target companies. Why? Because when you target a company you want to work for, you can create an active strategy, rather than passively hoping somebody will find you.
Once you’ve picked out your target(s), the next step is to research them thoroughly. I don’t mean spending an hour on Google – a proper profile of the company will take you several hours in most cases. Read everything you can about the company and any of its key players.
OK, you’ve got your target, and you’ve got your briefing materials. Next step is to figure out what you can do for the company. Why would they want to hire you? What do you offer, what original thoughts can you bring to your new employer? (If you can’t come up with any, you’ve either not done your research properly or it’s the wrong target company…)
So far, your success is totally within your own control. You’re not depending on anybody for the background info, you’re not trying to network into the company – that’s a great way, probably the best way, to get in, but it’s not always possible.
How do you get to the company management? Assemble everything you’ve put together, and start writing about them. In many cases, they’ll know you’re doing this, because most companies watch for their company name with Google Alerts. But if they miss you, you can let them know that you’ve been writing about them – this is the kind of communication that’s welcome, because you’re giving something rather than asking for something.
Here’s something a client of mine did:
“I applied for the top HR job at XYZ Company a couple of weeks ago. Then I sent the CEO, COO and CFO a memo about how I could add value as a non-traditional human resources professional. I pointed them to my blog. I specifically gave them the url to my engage presentation, employee engagement and courage posts. On Monday, I called all 3 executives and left them voice mails. The next day, I received an e-mail from their internal recruiter that stated she wanted to talk to me as she was directed by the CEO and COO to do so.”
See the difference between an active and a passive search? You won’t get all these jobs, but your chance of getting an interview goes up enormously. And you’re totally in control.