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Before you submit another job application, read this.

Updated: Mar 31






Networking


Résumé


Creative Outreach





You've updated the résumé, listened to every podcast, guru, and career coach out there and you're ready to hit that "Submit" button for a job you found on indeed, LinkedIn, or Glassdoor...but WAIT!


Before you hit the button, here are some items to seriously consider.


Pass the Headache Test


One of the most frustrating things that I've witnessed time and time again is someone reaching out to me about a role they found with the company I work for. They've submitted an application and get really excited to let me know...


Sorry to say it, but because you filled out the application before chatting with me, you've now decreased your chances of actually getting an interview and I get a headache because I could have improved your chances.


No - I'm not a gatekeeper, an all-knowing being, or even a hiring manager.


You see, things work differently in the corporate world. There are referral incentives to be had for great talent and companies want their employees to refer that talent.


This is why, in most cases, when a role is posted, you'll notice hundreds if not thousands of applicants shown as "applied" only to get a rejection email within 24 hours.


Rule #1 - Network


We're all familiar with how this side of networking works and yet, many still think that by reaching out they are somehow bothering their colleagues, friends, or acquaintances.


Not me.


I WANT you to reach out to me for a job. Leverage me as part of your network - it's not slimy or shady...here's why.


Yes I get an incentive that is a decent chunk of change, but! BUT! Remember that your soft interview with someone at a company such as myself, is in fact, the first interview.


By reaching out to someone working at the company that you know, you get their personal experiences, find out more information about the company that isn't listed, and more than likely, the employee that you know has good educational information to get you started on the right materials for an interview.


Rule #2 - Résumé


We move along to the second portion of improving your application and interview chances, the dreaded résumé template.


This particular asset is fickle.


"Do I put my entire history? Do I pick a few highlights? Do I list references or not? How short or long should my bio be?"


The list goes on.


Here's a look at my template below for reference.




Here are a few things I'd like to point out:


  1. Check out a website and application called figma.

    1. this may not be everyone's cup of tea, but once you understand how the tool works, it can help your layout standout

    2. figma is free - at least I only use the free version

    3. you can share templates, so if you're interested in using mine, let me know here.

  2. Only share skills relevant to the role you're applying for - remember that application software is designed to weed out unnecessary keywords in the screening phase

  3. If you're transitioning from one career to another, think about the best way to describe your previous role in ways that make sense, for example:

    1. to explain my educational role before moving into tech sales, I turned all of the assets I was in charge of into dollars/cents so it could match the business acumen that companies look for.

    2. to explain the transfer of working with administration in my educational role, I labeled them as stakeholders, shareholders, or constituents when referring to parents/community members.

    3. to explain managerial competencies I translated my directorship roles in education to public speaking, presenting, and full sales cycle buzz words.


At the end of the day, I've tweaked my résumé a number of times but can't really tell you the last time anyone actually looked at it or called the references I've listed.


This brings me back to point #1 of this post. Networking gets your foot in the door.


Résumés only tell a portion of the story.


Optimize accordingly and don't overpay someone to rewrite it for you.


#3 - Creative Outreach


Perhaps one of the most overlooked aspect of finding and landing an interview for the role you want is actually pitching and selling your own personal brand.


As annoying as this may be, gone are the days of simply submitting an application, calling a friend that works at the company, or leveraging that weird Uncle's friend that knows a guy that can hook you up with a job.


Nowadays, with everyone having some sort of presence on a social platform, it's even easier for people to create a brand for themselves without ever having a real-life conversation with someone.


Rather scary and disappointing if you ask me.


However much stock you put into sharing your authentic self online, there are some creative ways to get the attention of recruiters and I CANNOT stress how important it is to use creative outreach on top of the first 2 points mentioned in this post.


Once you've had a conversation with a friend or acquaintance at the company you're interested in, updated your résumé appropriately, now it's time to get the attention of 3 VERY important people at the company:


  1. Seek out someone in the role you want to be in - use LinkedIn and slip into those DMs with a friendly but not overly obsessive message.

    1. give people time to respond - everyone is busy

    2. if it takes too long, find another person

    3. look at their path of promotion at the company

      1. this is a HUGE indicator of career growth or lack of career growth opportunities

  2. Seek out the manager of that role-specific person

    1. once you've identified someone and touched base with them, see who their manager is and reach out via LinkedIn

    2. same messaging applies - be confident but not overly obsessive

  3. Seek out the hiring manager

    1. this one is crucial only after you've made contact with someone in the company, they sent you a referral link, and you've had a chance to apply using that link

    2. same messaging applies for the recruiter/hiring manager - be confident, not cocky or needy

BONUS INFO!!!!


What type of messaging can you do that stands out?


I rely heavily on creative outreach in my everyday role in sales and you should do the same when looking at a place to apply for.


One of my favorite stories of creative outreach may sound familiar.


Remember when someone embedded their résumé on a cake that was sent to Nike for a job posting?


It made national news for this creative approach.


Now, I'm not saying you have to bribe a delivery driver, have your résumé written on cake, and go for it the way that she did, however, there are still brilliant ways to get attention of hiring managers.


One of my favorite ways involves using Loom, Canva, and great story-telling to give a compelling reason why someone should hire me.





I've used this method to gain new business with my social media marketing company. The same holds true for reaching out to hiring managers - in fact, I've seen someone in my latest cohort of new hires do this very thing!


Here's how it works:


  • Narrow down your top 10 companies within a specific industry

  • Leverage ChatGPT and ask questions to describe the company goals, what they look for with the role, and how the company makes money.

  • Make a small presentation about the company using Canva and find specific use cases on their website that interest you

    • ex. "X" company saved "Y" company 25% week-over-week in productivity for their marketing teams using their automated marketing sequences all without the need for advanced coding skills, saving them $250K a year in manual processes.

  • Once comfortable, record yourself walking through the presentation using Loom

  • Finally, slip that presentation video into the DMs of the hiring manager right after you've applied using a referral link and say something along the lines of, "Hi ____, Recently applied via referral of _____ at X company. Made you a short video of one of my favorite reasons to work for X company. Would love to know your thoughts or grab time on your calendar."


I hope you've found this useful and please let me know what topics YOU want me to cover next!


JM


03/31/24

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