So you guys, I just got featured on Get Hired by LinkedIn News’ Helen Harris’ Newsfeed! This will mark my thirty-fifth time being featured as part of a LinkedIn News post. Here’s to more in 2023!
Please check out this fantastic article by LinkedIn as part of their weekly News’ Get Hired editorials from Helen Harris with our president, Matt Warzel, as a contributor – 𝗛𝗼𝘄 𝗦𝗵𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝗬𝗼𝘂 𝗡𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗴𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗬𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗝𝗼𝗯 𝗦𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗰𝗵 𝗔𝗺𝗶𝗱 𝗡𝗲𝘄𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝗠𝗮𝘀𝘀 𝗟𝗮𝘆𝗼𝗳𝗳𝘀?
Trying to find a job while others are losing theirs due to layoffs isn’t an easy feat, and it doesn’t instill a sense of security in the job market, either.
Today’s job landscape is trying, but experts recommend standing out by using the following tips: Make your job search targeted and personal, make your network work for you, and understand the role skills-based experience will play in hiring decisions — and use it to your advantage.
If you’re in the market for a new job, chances are you have had your finger on the pulse of the recent layoffs across a slew of industries in the past months — not just the widely recognized technology sector.
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) identified the layoffs across the board in just a few of these other categories:
- Trade, transportation and utilities
- Finance and insurance
- Real estate
- Education and health services
- Health care and social assistance
- Arts, entertainment and recreation
- Accommodation and food services
- State and local positions
With this information in mind, how can you best approach a job search in your desired field?
Make Your Job Search Personal
When you’re looking for a job, it’s easy to apply to multiple companies each day. But how personal and targeted are your applications? And are you taking the time to make genuine connections?
If not, it may be worth the extra time to stand out in a sea of other applicants who are also applying to multiple jobs each week.
Matt Warzel, career coach and resume writer, says that you should consider targeting 20 companies you want to work for. Next, he suggests using LinkedIn tools to search for things you might have in common with those 20 companies, such as college alumni or contacts who work there.
He advises you to rank them in the order of their desirability as a potential employer, and visit sites such as Indeed or Glassdoor to see if they have posted any jobs fitting your qualifications. By doing this, you will be able to narrow your list to five top companies to target for outreach and to cultivate relationships that may lead to new opportunities.
From there, you will want to schedule informational interviews with representatives of companies you are most interested in learning about.
“But rather than inquiring about job openings at their companies, ask for insights and how they achieved success in their own careers,” said Warzel. “They will be responsive because people enjoy talking about themselves.”
Get Noticed by Flexing Your Networking Skills
Warzel states that it may be impactful to create a post-application cover letter.
“This will allow you the chance to communicate your story that connects with the employers and also gives them the proverbial ‘hello,’” said Warzel.
He suggests that you tell a story about how you feel connected to the employer, how you know what they do and how the product or service they provide is better than anything out there (i.e., bigger, faster, cheaper, etc). The goal of this outreach is to connect with them, let them know you understand the brand, and that you want to be a member of the team.
Warzel offers a few other tips for your job-application process:
- Be selective in where you are applying to: Try to find job opportunities where you’re above an 85% job match. If you do apply for a job you believe you’re a match for, ensure you include actual tangible examples directly relating to that job.
“Optimize your resume with keywords from the job description, but do not lie either,” said Warzel.
- Fill out every single field in the application: “ATS will sometimes toss candidates if they leave it blank. At the very least, write in “not applicable,” said Warzel. “And make sure to auto-populate your answers using the drop-down box if applicable to ensure proper visibility during search results with other software or ATS.”
- Grow your LinkedIn network and presence: Warzel stresses LinkedIn is a gift to people who are looking for an opportunity to grow their networks and create new business partnerships, but that you should remember to keep your connection requests authentic and relevant to your professional network.
One potential connection you might wish to make could be with someone in HR or recruiting at a company you just applied to.
Warzel states a good introduction could look like this: “Hi, [name], I came across your profile while I was researching your company and would love to connect.”
He advises that you don’t get into specifics about your application but rather explain why you admire the company and ask to connect. Then, after they connect, you can InMail them a message saying something along the lines of, “I’m a big fan of your company. Attached (attach your cover letter) is the story of how I’ve come to know what you do is important. I recently applied to the (name of role) position online. If there’s anything I can do to better myself so I can earn an interview with your company, please let me know.”
This will allow them to go to their applicant tracking system and take a look at your profile.
If an in-person event is not doable for a certain company, Warzel recommends an “iced-coffee” approach, which entails connecting with employees at a company you’re interested in and sending them a request for an informational interview in return for a $5 coffee gift certificate.
“Start with locating a second-degree connection who can make for an introduction,” said Warzel. “Use your language from the post-application cover letter, which would entail a short note explaining why you admire the company and why you’d love to work there, why you’d like to talk to an employee or what they think it would take to get hired. You are not asking them to help you get a job or pass along your resume. You’re simply asking for information to help improve your candidacy and earn the interview by yourself.”
Understand Job Security by Doing Research and Asking the Right Questions
Beyond researching the position and company, Warzel states that during your interview, you should make an effort to talk about the future of the role.
This can be done by asking questions such as, “I read that X, Y and Z are the company’s values. Can you give me an example of what these values look like in action?” or “What are the metrics my performance will be evaluated against?” or ‘What are the biggest challenges the team is facing currently, and what are the most significant growth opportunities?”
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