When you fill out countless online job applications and hear nothing back from dozens of employers, you might wonder if there’s something wrong with your background.
Or, you might conclude that nobody hears anything back from employers after completing online job applications and figure that you just need to keep filling out applications until finally, somebody responds.
There’s nothing wrong with your background, but you can’t keep lobbing applications into the void and hoping that an employer will finally give you a chance.Filling out online job applications is the least effective way to get a job.
Here are five job-search tactics that work — and five that don’t.
Five Job-Search Tactics That Work:
Networking is a fantastic job-search channel, but it doesn’t work quickly. You cannot view networking as a transaction, where you tell a friend “I’m job-hunting!” and they say “Great, I know someone who can hire you!”
Networking takes time and patience, and you have to be willing to give back as much or more as you get out of each networking relationship. You have to be ready to help your friends think through their problems when you meet with them. Everybody needs moral support, advice and introductions — not just folks who are job-hunting.
3. The Direct Approach:
It takes more time and effort than typing answers into an online application form. You have to conduct research to write a good Pain Letter, and that is why so few people do it. That’s good for you if you take the plunge!
If you take this approach, remember that an organization who uses your services as a temp cannot hire you as a full-time employee for free. It will cost them a search fee to change you from temporary to full-time status. Some employers will happily do it, and others will balk.
Five Job-Search Tactics That Don’t Work:
1. Online job applications:
Most online job applications never get seen by human eyes.
2. Resume blasting:
Their problem is not that they don’t receive enough resumes!
3. Job Fairs (with exceptions):
What’s great about job fairs from a recruiter’s perspective is that you can talk to a lot of people quickly and determine whether it makes sense to invite them back to the company’s facility for a longer conversation. If those mini-interviews are not happening at the job fair, what is the point of it?
Some recruiters attend job fairs but tell applicants “Check out our open positions on our company’s website.”
Why would a job applicant pay to dry-clean your business attire and pay for gas and parking to stand in a long snaking line of people just to be told “We’re not taking resumes today.”?
Some job fairs buck the trend and are very active and useful. In my experience, they are typically highly specialized job fairs for people in one function and/or industry.
4. Calling or emailing HR:
Those folks are deluged with calls and email messages. They cannot respond to all of them, and even if you reach someone live on the phone they’re not likely to say “Oh yes! I remember your resume.”
The days when that might have happened are long gone.
5. Waiting for employers to find you:
Even if someone from one of your target companies happened to find your blog or podcast, it doesn’t follow that they will contact you and say “I want to interview you!”
You have to be more purposeful and pointed in your job search intentions than growing a social media presence just to get employers’ attention!
Invest your precious time and energy on the most effective job search tactics, and leave the rest behind!