Why your job-hunting techniques are failing you
How to employ purposeful networking in your job hunt. Plus, six steps to building career insurance while seeking a new opportunity.
November 21, 2013
Executives who land a new position are purposeful, persistent, and focused. Their job search did not start with creating a carefully formatted, achievements-filled résumé; they first developed and then implemented an effective, efficient plan to promote their abilities via traditional and virtual networking.
They put most of their time and almost all of their efforts into selectively establishing new and maintaining existing one-to-one meaningful relationships. They devote themselves to networking purposefully, which puts them on the radar and keeps them top-of-mind among an inner circle of decision-makers, academic thought leaders, trusted industry advisers, authors, and others—the kinds of people who source job leads for them, provide recommendations, and open doors to hiring authorities who can appreciate their potential contribution and like initiating contact.
Traditional job searching methods, such as responding to advertised postings, filing applications, submitting résumés online, blasting résumés to recruiters, etc., can no longer be relied on to generate responses from employers—even when a résumé matches specific qualifications and requirements. Success in today’s job market is less about getting a résumé to “hit” and more about cultivating productive, mutually rewarding relationships to source job leads. Networking, specifically with hiring authorities who appreciate your value and then remember to reach out to you first, is the most effective job search technique.
It’s a frustrating situation for naïve job hunters who think that the job market should operate rationally with employers selecting the most impressive résumés for further consideration.
Individuals can improve their chances for success in today’s job market if they rely on connections to get introduced to hiring authorities—not HR or external recruiters—before an official hiring announcement when there is less competition and a personal referral can be employed to greatest advantage. This is how to access the hidden jobs in the unadvertised job market.
You may be wondering how to look for a job if the first step is not drafting/polishing/improving your résumé. The solution is priming a purposefully designed network to help you identify a new position, which means more work and personal interactions than electronic job-hunting.
The networking investment pays generous lifetime dividends: Your connections are like career insurance. Your network contacts not only support, guide, and mentor you, but they also can be counted on for referrals now and in the future. In addition, you and your connections can rely on one another for recommendations even when neither of you is an active candidate. Having a devoted network that knows, likes, and appreciates you means there will be a continual flow of unsolicited potential new opportunities, which gives you more control over your career direction, choices, and timing as an in-demand recruit or expert adviser.
Here’s how to start building your own invaluable career insurance while seeking a new opportunity now:
More than ever, it is not only about what you know or even who you know, but who with hiring authority knows remembers, likes, and trusts you.