You’ve been sending out applications but heard nothing back. You’ve even had a few telephone interviews that seemed to go well. You’re CV looked great, and your experience is perfect for the job. So what on earth is going on?!
NEWSFLASH! Yours and 100 other people’s experience was perfect for the job. This is the reality that you have to get used to! Always expect that there’s tons of people that are just perfect. What you need to do, is something that not everyone will be doing.
Get connected. Let yourself be known!
Here are a few things you can do to start making yourself known to potential employers.
Use your contacts
Before you start looking for a job, use your contacts to get informed. Find out where your friends, friends of friends and family work and who they know. This is really important because believe it or not they can be an untapped resource. Meet with people who are already connected to you or who know people you know. It’s a great place to start and chances are they’ll be really honest about the company and what you can expect. Politely find out if they would be willing to put in a good word should you apply for a role there. Lots of company’s have referral schemes so they might even be rewarded if you’re successful! Just don’t let them down!
Expand your horizons and connect
Another great step is to start finding and connecting with people who work in companies that you’re really interested in and asking to meet for a coffee. This is when you can ask all sorts of questions about the culture, types of roles, how they work, what they look for. The best part is, because there’s no job opening, it doesn’t have to be specific and hopefully you don’t feel as much pressure. Try and find out when there are likely to be openings coming up and if they would be open to a meeting closer to the time. Whatever happens, thank them for their time and ask to stay in touch.
Find out what events are going on within the industry and attend them. If possible, check if anyone will be attending from companies of interest. This is a great way to meet people in a different setting. It shows that you are interested in the wider industry and you never know who you’re going to meet. The most important thing is to make sure that if you do meet people, you follow up with them after the event and again, ask to meet for a coffee and a chat. (TIP: Attending events where someone from the companies you’re interested in will be speaking will not only give you a chance for a meeting, but also give you something of interest to bring up should you be invited to an interview. And if not, you can always contact them and highlight how interesting, inspiring or motivating their presentation or speech was. Then you can ask for a meeting!
Ultimately, the more people you can meet with, the more you increase your chances as you grow your network and if you’re looking to make a career change then in-person meetings are a MUST.