Are you out of work or looking for a better job? Executive transition coach Gordon Curtis recommends that you concentrate and connect. Curtis, author of the book Well Connected, says it’s easy to believe that sending out lots of résumés will improve your odds of success, but that’s a mistake.
Aim For The Job And Employer You Want
A better approach is to concentrate your search. Instead of looking at job postings and applying for the ones that look like a fit, hone in on the work you’d like to do and where you’d like to do it. Identify about 10 companies you’d like to work for. Keep in mind that, by some estimates, as many as 80 percent of available jobs are not posted.
Find An Insider
Then use your social network to find someone at the company with whom you can connect. Ask friends if they know anyone who works at the company. Use LinkedIn to find connections. If it’s a big enough company, chances are you’ll be able to find someone who knows someone who works there.
Once you find a connection at the company, don’t ask them to refer you for an open position or put in a good word for you. If they don’t know the person who referred you to them very well they’re not likely to make a very strong recommendation.
Instead, ask if you can use their name when you apply for the job. That may help you get your foot in the door and then you can sell yourself. Also, ask this person good questions about the company so you can talk intelligently about the organization during an interview. And, genuinely ask if there’s any way you could help them in return.
I once took a similar approach in landing a corporate job. I knew the type of work I wanted to do, identified what looked like an ideal company to work for, and found someone who knew someone who worked there. The only nuance is that when contacting the insider friend of a friend, I asked for an in-person meeting in order to learn more about the company.
We had a great conversation and he was then kind enough to recommend that I talk with a colleague who had an unadvertised opening in his department. Eventually, I got a great job at the company.
What’s been your experience either with landing a job where none were posted or with utilizing a friend of a friend to get a foot in the door?
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