Why is it Hard to Find a Job Online?
I have heard a variation on this question twice in the last few days and I wanted to scream from the highest hilltop that it’s not hard. It’s the way most people apply to jobs online that makes it hard.
Most people see job ads on a giant job posting website and apply by diligently copying and pasting in their resume and sometimes a cover letter into the online form then waiting. And waiting. And waiting.
They repeat this over and over again to make themselves feel productive until the disappointment from not hearing back slowly creeps over them. One day, months later they desperately take the first job offer regardless of whether it’s really right for them.
With a little bit of effort, nearly every job application will produce a positive result. All it takes is digging a little deeper.
Find out who the manager is over the position. Who is the decision maker? If this sounds hard, it’s not. The information is out on the Internet and sometimes listed right on the company’s own website. Do a Google search for the position and likely titles for the immediate manager. LinkedIn results often come up along with Twitter accounts and blog posts. Get the email addresses and phone numbers of the most likely individuals.
If you do have more than one possibility, pick the most likely person and email them your cover letter and resume. In the email explain how you applied through the job posting as instructed but you wanted to talk to someone about the job. Don’t be pushy but be direct and polite. Thank them for taking the time to respond.
Give them a full business day to respond. If you don’t hear anything, call their business phone and leave a message if there is no answer. Use what you said in the email as a starting point. Be brief and polite and you will either get a call back or a response to your original email.
If they weren’t the right person, chances are they will forward your email and/or voicemail to the person who is. If you still don’t hear anything back and you have other contacts that may be the manager, repeat the process. If it was the only contact you have give them a couple of days and follow up politely via email and phone again.
Be sure to make every action count by including something positive about yourself in the emails or voicemails that is applicable to the job you are applying for.
Assuming you were a decent candidate to start with, most managers will see your reaching out as a positive sign and add you to the short list. Every once in awhile you will come across a manager who is offended that you aren’t sticking to the rules in the job posting. Seriously consider if you’d want to work for such a person. They may even feel threatened by your actions.
Wouldn’t you rather work for someone who appreciates your initiative and drive?
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