Do you fantasize about working at one of the companies on those “best places to work” lists? You and many other job seekers dream of landing a position with one of these highly visible companies. Obviously bombarding these companies with unsolicited resumes is not the answer so what is an interested job seeker to do if they really want to work at these leading companies? There are many job seekers who want to work at these prestigious employers so how can you stand out from the crowd?
- Network like crazy. Tap all your sources – alumni networks, former colleagues, family and friends – to identify contacts within these leading organizations. Use Linked In to find connections as well. Ask your contacts for informational interviews.
- Use your informational interviews to gather insights not to ask for a job. Learn as much as you can about the company culture and how hiring is done. What qualities are most important to them in new hires? Do your research on the company in advance so you can ask insightful questions to gather more information.
- Maintain your network. Stay in touch. Add value where ever possible sending follow-up articles etc on topics you discussed. Keep them posted on your progress.
- Monitor the companies’ job postings. If you see an appropriate position, apply online following their company instructions but also send your resume and cover letter to your contact with a note. If they can pass it on to the hiring manager you are now in the short pile instead of the flood of online applications.
- Remember to say thank you. It makes a difference and helps them remember you. Thank your networking contacts as well as everyone you interview with during the process. A handwritten thank you note helps you stand out from the crowd.
Don’t follow the herd. Be strategic in your networking. Learn more about the company to determine where you best fit and then leverage your connections for the best opportunities. Leading companies have no shortage of applicants so you want to show that you are the best fit for the job and for the company. Make sure your every interaction shows your interest and enthusiasm.