As a career coach, I often find my LinkedIn inbox filled with messages from job seekers asking for the secret sauce to get a great job. Is it knowing the right people? Having the right timing? Emailing a recruiter every three days? (Don’t laugh, I’ve actually been asked that.)
After years of research and helping hundreds of people land new jobs, here are some of my top tips for getting hired, beyond having a killer, skills-focused resume.
Drop the negative mindset
After a layoff or when working in a toxic workplace, your confidence can take a hit, and it’s easier to fall into skepticism and having a mindset that says, I’ll take what I can get. Staying negative closes opportunities, dampens our network connections, and weakens our interview skills.
When working with clients who are struggling to stay positive, I give them this visualization exercise: Imagine getting an interview and connecting right away with the hiring manager. Imagine getting a job offer and telling your favorite people about it. Imagine coming in on your first day with a warm welcome from your new coworkers.
It may seem small, but it really does make a major difference in boosting confidence which makes you more hireable.
Diversify your job boards
While there are loads of opportunities on popular job boards, when applying for these jobs you are also competing with a larger pool of applicants. Also, as a former recruiter, I can tell you that because larger job boards are less expensive, it was a better place to put job descriptions for positions hiring managers were less serious about (i.e., you get the interview and suddenly the job is no longer available).
Small(er) job boards are great options because hiring managers need to be more intentional about posting their openings and because there is less competition for the roles.
You can check out InHerSight (Hey, oh!) to get matched to a company that shares your values. There are also niche job boards like Angel List, if you’re looking to work for a startup, or Idealist, if you’re looking to get hired for a nonprofit job. Whatever your industry, check to see if there is a job board specifically for your job search. Also, check alumni job boards and association groups in your industry for openings.
Work your network
Even with a perfect resume, nothing increases your odds to get hired quite like having someone make an introduction for you.
As soon as you find out about an opportunity you want, check to see if you know someone (or knows someone who knows someone) that can introduce you to a decision-maker.
Also, let your network know that you’re searching for a new job so they can check their resources to see if they can find something for you. You would do the same for them, so give people the opportunity to help you.
Stop sleeping on LinkedIn
At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic when layoffs had begun, I did some work on my client’s LinkedIn page, and 20 minutes after I finished, a recruiter contacted her. One week later she got hired. LinkedIn is magic, y’all.
Along with it being an excellent networking tool, this platform is where recruiters and hiring managers are seeking out talent. When you’re active, commenting on posts, sharing your expertise, and sharing content that makes an impact in your industry, not only does it help you expand your network, it positions you as a subject matter expert (i.e., a smart hire).
Want to really stand apart from other candidates? After applying to a job make a quick one- to two-minute video saying why you’re interested in the position and why you’re a great choice for the role and send it to the job poster if one is listed. This will make a lasting impression. In today’s job market, the bold are rewarded with more opportunities.