Q: What’s really the most important part of my job application?
Yes, it’s important to optimize your LinkedIn profile and tweak your resume for every single job you apply to.
But it may come as a surprise to you that the single most important thing you can do to land yourself a job has to do with a tiny, often-missed question found on many organizations’ job applications: “Were you referred to XYZ Company?”
The answer to this question is your one-way ticket to getting a previously-rejected resume reconsidered, or a newly submitted resume evaluated.
As a recruiter, there have been countless instances where a candidate who fell short of the required qualifications for a job was phone interviewed simply because he or she was referred to us by someone in our organization. This practice isn’t only important to recruiters because referrals have great conversion rates from hire to tenure and generally improve the quality of hire. It is also important for us to acknowledge the recruiting work our employees doing on our behalf (they’ll stop going to work for us if they don’t feel their recommendation is validated).
While it may not be possible to only apply for jobs where you have a person connection, I do recommend that the majority of organizations at which you apply are ones where you have at least a first or second degree connection. And before you automatically assume that you don’t know a single person at XYZ company, consider if you at least know someone who knows someone. Hint: LinkedIn makes this very easy.
When you’ve identified at least one person who can vouch for you, alert them that you’ve applied (and yes, apply before reaching out for a recommendation, because all good recruiters will force you through the appropriate channels before moving forward with your candidacy. Hint: this has to do with federal and/or internal reporting purposes). Simply explain to them that you recently submitted an application for XYZ role at XYZ company and attach your resume. Then, kindly request that they pass along your name to the hiring manager responsible for the role.
In this market, it’s usually less than 24 hours after being notified of a referral that I am in touch with him or her.
To keep reading, head on over to Fairygodboss.