Make That Connection to Get that Interview!
One of the most prevalent points of conversation that I encounter when coaching clients on the nuances of
landing an interview relates to the methodology by which one should apply to a job posting. There are a lot
of things that can be said about the value (or non-value) of finding openings through job boards, but one
thing is clear; the idea of submitting a resume to an email link along with a cover letter and getting a
response is antiquated at best. It used to be the case that you could do this and expect about a
50% success rate, but no longer. Within the last 10 years or so (and particularly within the last 24 months)
the competition base for jobs has increased dramatically. Now there are a lot more people with high end
credentials hoping to land jobs that they never would have considered previously. In other words, there is a
scarcity of resources going on when it comes to the number of jobs that are available. It's basic ‘supply and
The point here is that while historically speaking the resume used to be the most important piece of the career searching puzzle, it is now only a supplemental piece at best. So when a client tells me that they aren't getting job interviews because of a sub-par resume, I immediately ask the question, "So how do you typically apply to a job posting?" Inevitably, I find they are leaving out one very simple, yet crucial, step to the process; they don't establish a personal rapport beforehand with the person who will be receiving the resume. Granted, the resume must be well written and must speak to your strengths, but that in itself simply isn't going to set you apart from the masses. What does set you apart is making a personal connection. In sales, nothing is more important and in the job market, you're just one more product in a sea of similar products...at least on paper.
Psychologically, it is much more comfortable to send a resume through to a "blind" email link and simply forget about it. You don't have to confront the situation directly. There is no chance of immediate rejection. The problem with this is that for all the resumes you send via this method, you probably aren't going to get that many interviews anyway. You may not even get a response at all. So guess what? You're being rejected whether you like it or not. This is called passive job searching!
For my money, I'd rather take the bull by the horns and find out right away if I'm an ideal candidate for the job. At least this way, I know immediately if I may make the cut and I can cross that job off the list if necessary and continue on with my search. There's nothing worse in my book than not knowing. Plus, I have the added benefit of pitching my 30-second commercial to the person on the other end of the phone and really get a chance to make an impression on them, consequently increasing my chances dramatically of having them seriously review my resume. This is called active job searching!
So start increasing your odds immediately of landing that interview by becoming an active job seeker. Just remember this simple rule of thumb; never submit a resume without speaking to the person who will be reviewing it first. Convince them that you're the person for the job not through some piece of paper, but by your personality and passion.
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