Applying online is a headache, but what else can you do?

Where do you start? You check out your favorite job board like LinkedIn and get excited about applying online. Finding a slew of positions that are perfect for you, you do your happy dance.

You then apply online directly to the company website or through the job board.

Now, you customize, tilt, put in perfect bullets. You repeat this process over and over, but you get either nothing or a couple of HR interviews that go nowhere.

In fact, you don’t even get a rejection email explaining why the company did not select you for an interview.

Applying online is a virtual waste of time

Unless you are 22 years old, applying online directly to a company’s website or through a job board is a low probability event. In fact, it’s a negative probability event since it leaves many feeling:

  • Depressed
  • Anxious
  • Insecure

Why is it a waste of time?  First, studies have shown that senior executive-level positions are rarely posted.

Second, 75% of the posted jobs are not even available.  Third, of the 75%, 50% are positions that the company had already filled internally.  The company simply needs to post the job or they violate government regulations.

Finally, the other 25% were real at a point in time, but the company has filled them.

The simple truth is most companies use third-party job boards like LinkedIn, the Ladders, etc., and their own website because it is a cheap form of advertising. Huh?

You may think to yourself  “Since the company has posted 15 jobs that I qualify for, they must be growing, and I’m an ideal fit”. Articles in the press count job postings and make erroneous conclusions with the data.

For more information, check out my post on why job boards are mostly scams to learn the dirty details of this multi-billion-dollar industry.

Networking is the highest probability way to get a job

First, getting in front of non-HR hiring managers with the help of employees at your target companies, employees with whom you share a commonality, is your secret weapon.  Commonalities include:

  • Same university
  • Common prior employer (s)
  • LinkedIn 1st or 2nd connections

Then, writing a well-worded request to link in with that employee will increase your chances of getting a connection acceptance.

When you write a carefully worded request for a phone call, you will get a conversation. A carefully worded conversation will get your resume to a hiring manager.

To give you a macro feel of my clients’ efforts, they report the following successful numbers:

  • Invite 100 professionals at target companies
  • 25-35 professionals will accept your invitation
  • 3-5 helpful individuals will agree to a call
My Financial Services client submitted 100 applications and was ghosted

John called me exhausted from tweaking his resume to death for 100 online applications.  His qualifications were never the issue. He received 2 HR interviews that went nowhere.

The other 98 companies ghosted him, even though some of them he had worked with as vendors in the past.

Finally, feeling really down, he started questioning his value as an employee.  Insecurity began a vicious downward cycle of self-doubt, the killer of the job search process.

He started reaching out on LinkedIn and had a job within 3 months

John didn’t have an Ivy League degree.  However, graduating from the University of Connecticut was his ace in the hole. He quickly discovered that on LinkedIn, over 3,500 alumni from his school worked in the NYC area in financial services.

We carefully scripted the whole process:

  • What words to include in the LinkedIn invitation note
  • What words to include to ask for a call
  • How to handle the call to achieve his objectives
  • How to follow up after the call to stay top of mind

What else did we do? I helped him narrow the list down to a few hundred key professionals that we felt could help him. He invited, he got accepted and 15 phone calls later, his resume was in front of 5 hiring managers.

Within 3 months he had a new job.

For My 10 best Resume and LinkedIn tips

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