Has this ever happened to you? You see the perfect job description posted online at one of your top target companies. Finally, you think, the perfect job. You attach your perfect resume – no typos, no grammatical errors, filled with key transferrable skills and quantified accomplishments. You write a flawless customized cover letter linking their specific needs to your relevant skills and experience. You answer all the questions on the online application and submit. With fingers crossed, the waiting begins.
Then one of two things happen – either you receive an automated, impersonal email indicating you will not be considered for the position, or, even worse, you hear nothing at all. How can this be? You are perfect for this job.
Unfortunately, this happens more frequently than most job seekers realize. In spite of your perfect resume, flawless cover letter and highly relevant experience and skills, the hiring manager never sees your application. How can this happen?
Hiring managers are overwhelmed. In addition to their full time mob, they are short-handed and trying to get all the work covered. They now have to find time to go through the tedious hiring process. It is not unusual to received hundreds of online applications. What hiring manager has time to review all those applications? They don’t.
You have missed the most critical step in your job search process. Networking. You need to build a network of key contacts at your target companies. Use them to learn about the company and hiring process. When you see a position at their company ask them to forward your resume to the hiring manager. Suddenly your resume is in the short pile of recommended candidates. Rather than tackle the mountain of online applications, the hiring manager starts with the pile of referred candidates and hopes to find what they need from those candidates. The manager may never even look at your resume if you are only in the online application pile. You are the needle in the haystack. Do managers sometimes miss well qualified candidates? Absolutely but they are prioritizing how they spend their time and focus on the referrals. You must be effectively networking through your target list to ensure that you can end up in the right pile.
Without networking the chances of the hiring manager seeing your perfect resume, cover letter and experience are slim. Increase your likelihood of success by networking.