What’s needed to make you stand out? How to get on top of the stack? We browsed the best advice books and blogs and found these three key points of advice.
1. Know what you want, and act on it.
You put your eyes on a job, or you badly need the money. Most of us tend to just go for it. But it pays off to step back and clarify your interests and the things you’re good at.
The only way to make it work is to target organizations and jobs you actually care about. And this doesn’t necessarily mean that you must be ‘passionate’ about it. It’s about reflecting how the job and company suits you and vice versa: what do you care about, what skills do you bring to the party. What environment do you best fit.
It’s the same for a side job and a career job.
This could be you applying for a warehousing job at Amazon because you need it for the money. Or applying for a Logistics Analyst at a distribution company, because you’d like to pursue a career in logistics.
✅ If you know what your interests are, great. But if you are not sure, perform an online career test. There are quite a few available. List the things that best describe your interests and your key skills.
Go check our web app, findmino.com. It’s a free web app where you can perform a quick but firm assessment of what your skills and preferences are, and explore pretty much all career paths you could imagine. It’s personal, professional and fun.
✅ Write everything down. Practice talking about it in front of a mirror.
In the example of a logistics job or career: Go wonder how your urge for movement, social interaction, efficiency, complexity of logistics, or curiosity for automation connects with what you care about, what your skills are.
Read our blog ‘Why our view on careers is dramatically changing‘ to doublecheck you do pursue the right career path.
2. Use your network to get in
Yes you need to have a good resume. But only in 7% of the cases sending a resume will get you the job! * Only after your first (phone or live) contact with the hiring manager you may send your resume. By the way, your resume is quite a bit more nowadays than a piece of paper. Read our blog Effective Resume’s in 2020 for advice.
It’s more important to have someone who can help you to be introduced into an organization. So, how do I manage to get a job? 85 percent of open positions are filled through networking!
It’s like buying online.
Think about it. You buy a product or watch a movie if the reviews are positive. You like to rely on personal reviews to make a purchase decision. With hiring managers it isn’t that different. If you can find someone who works where you want to work it will make a ton of difference. It will create confidence with the hiring manager to see a name they know.
✅ Check the people you know. Friends, family. Who could be in touch with people who work where you apply? In the logistics example: check your uncle who’s a truck driver, or your parents neighbors who work at the airport?
✅ Check your Facebook account. And Linkedin could be particularly helpful here, since you can search on company name.
✅ Approach these people with a simple request if they could point you to the right person in their organization. And ask them if you could mention their name. You might be surprised that hardly anyone will refuse to help you.
In today’s world, he or she who gets hired is not necessarily the one who can do that job best; but, the one who knows the most about how to get hired. (Richard N. Bolles, What color is your parachute? 2020)
Check our new blog ‘Networking. How to do it? for practical advice.
3. Be in the driver’s seat
Top 3 things to get yourself a job? Drop the feeling that you are dependent on them. Despite the higher unemployment numbers, you got something unique to offer. Therefor your mindset should be that they would be lucky getting you. This is not about being arrogant. This is about finding self confidence on the right grounds.
✅ List the organizations you believe offer the best match to your interests, your preferred way of working and your skills. It’s best to start with an idea of a job you’d like to pursue, and then find organisations who will most likely have this job. Check job boards for vacancies at this organization, like Indeed, Glassdoor, Linkedin, Facebook, Careerbuilder, Monster.com, to name a few. If there are no suitable jobs showing up, give it a shot anyway.
✅ Call them to connect. And mention the name of the person that you found who works there. Tell them that you are considering to get a job as an “…..” and that you are gathering information, that you are keen to learn more about their company, and ask them if they got 5 minutes. If what you hear resonates well with what you had in mind, ask in the end if they happen to have vacancies. And if so, ask them how you can apply.
Personal contact is most important.
This route -if done well- in the end would work in about 50% of cases*, especially at smaller companies.
✅ Prepare some great questions. About exact job content, responsibility in the job, how many colleagues you will have, how they are organized. What opportunities will you have to learn. How would they describe the culture? Look up publications about the organisation and their competitors. What’s currently hot in their industry? Glassdoor and Careerbliss gets you great insight into companies. Check what you can find online and list the 3 things you really want to know about the job at that specific company.
When they answer your questions drop in pieces of info on how you would fit in.
✅ When it comes to an (online) interview, bring your prepared questions on your note pad or iPad. It immediately demonstrates you’re serious about it. It shows that you got some questions you’d like to get answered.
✅ Send thank you notes. At the same day you connect with that friend or family member, send them a thank you note for helping you. Send the person you spoke with a thank you note for the time spend and info provided. Because thank you’s are vital in building your network. They’ll add to a positive impression you leave with the person.
What we all tend to do.
- Send applications in response to job ads.
- Send in our resume (and be surprised if we don’t even hear back).
- Have an attitude of ‘wait and see’, leave the initiative to the hiring manager.
- Try find a job through an agency, and expect them to work things out for you.
What has a better chance. How do I manage to get a job?
- First figure out what you really care about. What are your interests. What makes you tick. And what kind of (work) environment do you prefer.
- Then go look for employers that might fit.
- Check if they got vacancies. And if there are no suitable jobs showing up, give it a shot anyway.
- Call them. Don’t send letters of application or resume’s to start with.
- Go take the driver’s seat. You know what you have on offer. They would be lucky to get you.
Want to know more ?
Sign on to Findmino.com. Free access. No need to download. FindMino is a web app that offers an inspiring place to get sorted on career choice. In a pleasant way FindMino helps to find your competencies, and to make up your mind on where you want to go. And it pre-sorts quality online information around careers, saving you tons of time to find it yourself.
Useful resources and references
- Read this Monster blog “5 phone interview tips to master” or this The Muse blog “20 Video Interview Tips to Help You Dazzle the Hiring Manager and Get the Job“.
- Check this The Muse blog “Ask a Real Recruiter: How Do I Prove That I’m the Best Candidate in an Interview?“for advice how to have an impact.
- * “What color is your parachute” written by Richard N. Bolles offers useful advice on being successful at finding a job. Numbers quoted with * are based on research referred to in this book.
- How to Finally Bring Your Side Hustle Idea to Life: Starting a side gig can be a great way to bring in some extra money (and could even lead to a full-time pursuit). This article offers tips on how to launch a side business.
- Linkedin is a key channel to find jobs and expand your network. Check this CareerSherpa blog on How To Post Engaging Comments on LinkedIn
- Job hunting during COVID-19 will be most likely online, at all stages. Read this blog on The Muse how to adjust.
- Resource Guide: Finding Remote Work Opportunities: There are more companies than ever offering part- and full-time remote work opportunities. This guide offers insight on how to find them and how to be a successful work-from-home employee.
- Check these 3 free online career tests, at Truity.
- Check this Monster.com blog These are your rights if you’re furloughed