Want to SCORE the interview? Get out on the field!
As the job market continues to make a comeback, professionals are aggressively “mounting up” and reinstating their job search. Resumes are updated, reflecting the increased duties and responsibilities assumed during the recession. Job Seekers have leveraged LinkedIn by creating detailed Profiles which include an SEO-friendly Summary as well as industry-driven job descriptions and achievements. Networking both on and offline has built a deep pool of professional connections, allowing job seekers to personalize their job search and avoid large, mass job boards. Everything seems to be in order and the pieces are in place.
Now what?? The press is talking about the “talent gap”, focusing on the increased number of open positions and the decreasing unemployment rate. The demand for talent is on the rise so is it finally time for experienced and well-connected job seekers to expect “the call” from a hiring manager, offering an interview? Not likely! You can’t check the “complete” box on your job search just because your resume has been submitted or network has been expanded. A better plan of action is to kick your job search up a notch by focusing your efforts on landing the interview.
4 ways you can help SCORE the interview you want
1. Penetrate the frontlines. Job postings reveal important information beyond the job title and location. By leveraging LinkedIn and even Google you are able to learn who the hiring manager is for the job you’re interested in. Reaching out directly to that hiring manager brings you one step closer to having your resume seen by the people making the interview schedule and ultimately the hiring decisions.
2. Tap into players already on the team. Getting a referral or even a personal recommendation from someone inside the company (or even in the department you are looking to join) will go a long way toward putting your resume in front of the right set of eyes. Don’t currently know anyone at the company? Then get networking! Networking to get referrals and warm connections should be high on your list of priorities if you are actively looking for a job.
3. Show that you can be a star player. According to about.com/careers, “…on average, 250 resumes are received for each corporate job opening.” Needless to say, if you want to get some playing time and avoid sitting on the bench, you need to flex your skills. Be different by researching a current product and prepare a marketing strategy. If you are in a creative role, create a Prezi (or video) Resume in addition to a traditional resume. Show your accomplishments and qualifications in your cover letter/email. Have you had success at your current or past company? List it or better yet, link to a tangible example if possible.
4. Remember you’re a free agent. Although we all have our ideal company in mind, it’s important to remember that the ideal company isn’t the only company. Sometimes it is necessary to expand your search across industries and ideal positions. Broadening your search will allow you the opportunity to find other searches your skill set and experience might be perfect for.
Just like in sports, the real work begins long before you’re on the field. Scoring the interview is part of the conditioning in your job search. Actively engaging in this part of the process will help make you a stronger candidate.
You’ve finally scored that interview. What can you do to ensure you don’t choke in front of the coach? We recommend you read “Professional Etiquette in our “Ultra Cool” Culture“
About the Authors
Ken Schmitt is the President and Founder of TurningPoint Executive Search and theSales Leadership Alliance. Specializing in placing sales, marketing and operations professionals across the country, Ken’s 16 years of recruiting experience have equipped him with the knowledge to serve as a thought partner to his clients for all recruiting, hiring and human capital-related initiatives. Ken sits on the board of Junior Achievement, the American Marketing Association, the San Diego HR Roundtable and is an Advisory Board Member for San Diego Sports Innovators (SDSI).
Vicky Willenberg has served as the Social Media Manager for TurningPoint since 2011. In 2014, she was elevated to Digital Marketing Manager, broadening her participation across all things digital for the firm. A former teacher with a Masters in Education, Vicky is an active and published blogger at The Pursuit of Normal and a marketing professional. She has her finger on the pulse of the latest trends in the recruiting, hiring and leadership sectors.