You know exactly what company you want to work for, the job you want to do and where you want it to be. The only question remaining is: How do you get there?
Simply sending an application may not be enough. Large companies on average receive thousands of resumes daily.
Before you get overly excited about the prospect of working at your dream job and send that resume to the first email address you find, you have to have a plan.
Make sure you lay the groundwork so your file won’t get lost in the shuffle when the time comes to showcase your amazing professional profile.
Here’s a five-step action plan to help you land your dream job at your dream company:
1. Research and Know What the Company Is Looking For
You may already know your dream company backwards and forwards, even what the C-suite looks like. Still, it doesn’t hurt to make sure your research is as thorough as it can be.
This will help you build a strong base for the personal brand you’re going to build to send their way.
One thing you’ll learn in business is that there is always more to learn. So look up resources that can offer you some tips on how best to research companies.
Also, make sure to check out the company’s LinkedIn profile, as well as the chief officers if they are listed. Being this thorough will make that interview you get showcase your genuine passion and enthusiasm for the position.
2. Build Your Professional Brand
Now that you’ve studied up on your dream place of employment, apply that knowledge to building your professional brand. This brand is the career narrative you want to create for yourself in order to stand out from the crowd.
Remember, unless you’re meticulous, silly things like typos can send your application straight into the trash.
Respondents to a 2013 survey by Career Builder cited that 58 percent of applicants’ resumes contained typos and 36 percent were generic and not specifically focused toward the position being applied for.
It’s so important to make sure this is part of your professional brand creation. If you’re unsure of how to begin, look into resume writing services that specialize in various industries to help get you started on the right foot.
This is especially important the higher up you get. If you’re at the managerial or executive level, getting help with your resume is just as important as when you were in college.
A resume writer specializing in executive resumes can help you build a note-worthy, accomplishment-focused, strategic resume that can get you an 85 percent higher response rate and increased salary in nine out of 10 cases.
Also, think about building an online narrative if that suits the position you are applying for. Take Nina Mufleh and her quest to land a job at Airbnb. Her unique approach garnered national attention.
She focused on what she could bring to the table with the company rather than previous professional experience. She illustrated how she would be a great fit for her dream company and why, all in a unique way.
She found the best way to market and pitch herself.
You can do the same. There are many ways to do it, even some unorthodox ones, it’s just a matter of understanding what your dream company is looking for and how you can apply that to your own professional brand.
3. Reach Out to Individuals in the Company
You have your knowledge and your professional brand ready to be shown to the world. Now, the next step is to reach and connect with individuals already working within the company.
Perhaps you’ve already started working on your network or have a friend working for your dream employer. Wonderful! This will simplify the process of getting your foot in the door.
However, if you don’t have those established connections yet, don’t worry.
Read up on the best ways to connect with HR managers or recruiters, and dive deep into networking with the company’s employees on LinkedIn. This is a great platform to open dialogue and begin cultivating relationships with individuals you may work with in the future.
In fact, 89 percent of recruiters have hired someone via LinkedIn. Ask questions and be curious. They will most likely be glad to offer their professional advice.
Don’t be afraid to ask them for an informational interview. Whether it’s a quick chat over the phone or a lengthy meeting over lunch, you’ll be able to get the insider’s look at how things really function in the workplace.
It’ll also give you an opportunity to showcase your excitement and enthusiasm to someone already established within the company. Be sure to plan ahead with questions to ask.
You won’t want to forget any of your important questions, and you’ll also want to make sure you’re prepared for anything they might fire back at you.
4. Tailor Your Application to Fit Their Needs
It’s now time to actually apply for the position. Your carefully laid groundwork is going to pay off. Push your creative juices to the maximum, and try to acquire the name of whose hands your application and resume has to find.
An inside referral, that informational interview paid off, will make your chances even better of that happening.
Now, before you hit the send button, you’ve got to write that smashing cover letter. Always keep your professional brand in mind.
It’s what makes you, you, and you know you’re the best fit for this company. Be sure to illustrate that.
5. Now … Send It
Send that application off on its way. You’re now one step closer to landing your dream job. You’ve laid the groundwork, took time to set yourself apart from the rest of the crowd, networked your behind off and meticulously filled out your application.
Now get ready to see the fruits of your labor.
Great post by Sarah Landrum via http://www.business.com
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It does not come as a surprise: Your organization is only as good as your employees. And your employees are only as good as your talent acquisition (aka recruiting) and talent management philosophy, approach, and team.
We all agree, don´t we?
However, ask yourself, how is your employer handling recruiting in reality? In other words: Are people and talent in your organization at the heart of its mission and strategy or just another cost line in the P&L? Are they as important as the organization´s clients, customers, and objectives? Is senior management doing whatever it takes to recruit exceptional talent to continue building a successful organization?
Fact is, that many companies don´t know how to identify, target, and recruit the talent who is interested in meaningful career moves and which might fit with vacant positions you´re looking for to fill. One key reason being that people in this group are largely passive candidates who need to be contacted at the right point of time with the right message to stimulate them to respond at all.
Find out in this article which trends will shape the future of talent acquisition. Learn how you and your company can locate, recruit, and retain the right candidates better and faster. And how to rock recruiting and your organization in the future to stay successful.
Applying A Strategic Mindset: A top-notch recruiting department establishes itself as a reliant, thought-provoking, equal, and challenging partner of the business and senior management alike. Not only filling vacancies in an transactional manner, but equally important advising business partners on long-term company and employee requirements and strategies. Based on thorough analyses, hard data, and holistic forecasting. Therefore recruiting needs to be perceived by all leaders and managers of the organization as a key function which is owned by everyone; and not only by the recruiters.
Embracing A Marketing Attitude: Marketing departments, more than any other function of the company, have already undergone dramatic change processes with break-neck speed in order to beef up and better understand and serve external customers. In consequence, there is a lot recruiting teams can learn by thinking and acting more like marketers.
Talent As Customers: Organizations should approach talent acquisition in the same sophisticated and dedicated manner as when trying to acquire new customers. Worded differently: “With a high probability there is some sort of customer lifecycle management process installed in your organization. The resulting million dollar question: Is there also a talent lifecycle management system in place?” Let´s face it, there are still (too) many companies who have not really understood that employees are their internal customers. Consequence: “You can´t satisfy and excite your external customers with great products and services, if your internal customers are not motivated, well looked after, and engaged.”
Simplification Of Tech Interaction: Job applicants should experience a state-of-the art application experience which is as good as the organization´s customer experience process. Have you ever thought about e.g. having a highly skilled team in place answering questions of people who think about working for you? Maybe via web video or web chat to keep it scalable? Do you have dedicated metrics and a comprehensive reporting set up to monitor and review the satisfaction levels of your applicants for each step of the interview process?
Strong Employer Brand: Every organization should not only nourish its consumer brand, but also create an attractive employer brand. Key branding principles would need to be applied to the employee experience. For example, a best possible design of a company´s site is of a paramount importance, since there it is where often the job hunting begins. In this respect it´s crucial having a well-designed career site which transports a consistent brand image that reflects the company´s main values. This enables job seekers to define if they might be a cultural fit and if it could make sense to apply. As such companies are well advised taking some time to look at how they’re being reviewed on sites like Glassdoor, Great Place To Work, Vault, etc. Possibly they can incorporate the reviews and learning into their website or any other form of (talent) communication.
The Ultra-Fast Rise Of Technology: Artificial Intelligence (AI) will play a key role in assisting recruiting. I expect that already in some years it´ll be used to help screening candidates resumes based on pre-defined traits, skills, and clues on required management and leadership principles which then will be matched with suitable vacant roles. AI will support recruiters also to assess a candidate´s abilities and behavior (e.g. coping with pressure or working in a team) in real-world scenarios (e.g. with the help of special apps running on computers and mobile devices). It also looks like that the phone call as preferred first-round recruiting means will be soon replaced by live, two-way webcam interviews.
Big Data Powers On: New recruiting screening tools, powered by big data systems, will survey social sites such as Linkedin, Xing or Viadeo (e.g. profile changes, articles published, sudden increase of new contacts, etc.). Top companies will rather rely on quantitative data versus gut instinct. Sites like Joberate already scrape publicly available data from millions of individual online social media accounts and assign a score that estimates the level of job search activity. So if e.g. someone starts making many professional connections on Linkedin, publishes multiple questions or comments on Stack Overflow (with more than 6 million members the world´s largest community of programmers) the scores go up and possibly indicates a lower engagement level, i.e. a higher openness for switching jobs and listening to a recruiter calling at exactly that time.
Engagement Beats Sourcing: Often the challenge is no longer finding talent, but activating and engaging them. There are several related strategies organizations should consider. One option is to involve hiring managers earlier in the process, i.e. the recruiting team partnering with them throughout every stage of the talent attraction and recruiting cycle. In top organizations this starts already with hiring managers assisting identifying and sourcing top talent (e.g. via their own alumni or personal networks). Another effective strategy in this context is using gamification. Companies could establish e.g. virtual tournaments to search for top talents (like e.g. the digital start-up Umbel is doing it with its gaming challenge called “Umbelmania”). And, of course, social media has become mainstream for recruiting. New platforms like The Muse give job seekers a more intimate view of and broader insights into company culture, values, communication, and opportunities of multiple organizations.
Data Analytics: Through biometric data and analytics, companies like NextHire can better predict which candidates are most likely to be a good fit for a position. Applicant tracking systems (ATS) – like e.g. Silkroad or Bullhorn which allow to source, attract, engage, screen and hire top talent fast, become a must for any organization. For an excellent overview of leading ATS check here.
Candidate Relationship Management (CRM): A CRM tool does more than tracking candidates like in an ATS. It allows to seamlessly share notes, develop and nurture leads, and document activity across the entire organization. It also can match the company´s internal talent data base with external people aggregator sites such as HiringSolved which gathers data from across the web and filters the most relevant data points and search results.
New Hiring Metrics: Traditionally, recruiters have been evaluated almost exclusively on metrics like time to fill or cost per hires. The problem is that focusing too much on the sheer number of butts they can pull through the hiring funnel and into seats ignore important controls regarding quality of hire, candidate engagement or respective recruiter´s overall impact on organizational recruiting or retention. In the future the entire hiring team will be assessed more by the real value their work generates.
Employees as Ambassadors: There´s nothing more credible than having employees inter-acting with potential future colleagues. Employees participating at external recruiting events, job fairs, conventions, etc. is a first good step. Having them activating their own social networks and alumni sites is an even more powerful and scalable next step. Think about how best to attract e.g. your company followers on Linkedin, Xing, etc. Post engaging and relevant content on your site and blog and motivate employees to share and comment it. By the way, anyone in your team blogging or podcasting about non-confidential and still work-related topics? You might want to get this one kicked off rather quickly.
Influencer Marketing To Recruit: As many companies now use social media to recruit, there’s a mass of online content, tougher competition, and as such it’s harder to differentiate your organization. To cut through the clutter you would need to be in a position to send job seekers clear signals to generate interest and trust. Potential candidates often turn to peers, credible opinion leaders or recognized “voices“ to get information about companies, careers, and job vacancies. Using this technique within recruitment could push you ahead, since the recruiting industry is only about to discover Influencer Marketing.
Humanness Beats Tech: Even, and especially in the digital age, organizations need to radiate a strong human touch, emotions, and warmth. An excellent opportunity for companies to give their organization a “face“ by having employees acting as real and authentic ambassadors (e.g. video tours on company main website, etc.).
It goes without saying, that the very central task of recruiting is to anticipate and fill vacancies with the right candidates as soon as possible. That´s the fundamental and transactional mission and obligation of recruiters. At the same time, recruiting is changing rapidly. Job boards and job ads will soon become relicts of the past. Big data, sophisticated matching algorithms, CRM tools, and absolute talent-centricity will influence recruitment more than ever. Recruiting will need to become a key function and department of the organization by taking on more strategic tasks such as long-term staff forecasting, planning, and business advising. Always closely embedded within the overall HR strategy and team and in a tight exchange with all main stakeholders and business partners (e.g. legal, benefit and compensation, tax, etc.).
Recruitment – like the overall management of employees – must be co-owned and carried out by line managers. Organizations that understand and resolve the challenge of candidate engagement e.g. by having various authentic employees communicating and inter-acting with candidates will ultimately prosper. Last, but not least, the better a company develops, looks after, and retains its existing workforce, the smaller the need (and pressure) to recruit new employees.
If you can hire people whose passion intersects with the job, they will manage themselves better than anyone could ever manage them. Their fire comes from within, not from without. Their motivation is internal, not external. Stephen Covey
Great post by Andreas von der Heydt via www.linkedin.com
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With more employers using LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to hire staff, Graham Snowdon explains the tactics and how jobseekers can use them to their advantage
Chances are you are already familiar with social networks as tools for keeping in touch with friends, or to broadcast your thoughts. But if their value as a way of connecting with potential employers has passed you by, it’s time to wise up fast. A recent US survey showed that nearly 90% of employers either use, or plan to use, social media for recruiting.
In the rapidly changing world of social recruitment, barely a week goes by without the appearance of some new website or gizmo purporting to change the face of job-hunting forever. Last month, for example, saw the launch of the “Apply with LinkedIn” button, enabling jobseekers to send their public profile data from the business professional network directly to an employer. Reports of the death of the traditional paper CV may be premature, but clearly it is becoming an increasingly less influential part of the jobseeker’s armoury.
LinkedIn, with 100 million members, is still the site of choice for companies hiring directly, but Facebook (750 million) and Twitter (200 million) are catching up, with many believing a tipping point has been reached in the ways employers seek to hire staff.
But what does it all mean for jobseekers? Understanding the rules of social recruitment is key. At first glance, employers may seem to hold all the cards, but understanding their tactics can considerably improve your odds of getting noticed.
“It’s about the whole degree of proactivity now,” says Matthew Jeffery, head of talent acquisition at software house Autodesk. “It’s not enough to simply push your CV up on the web and hope a company is going to come to you; the onus is on you to get out there and persuade.”
1 You don’t have to be ‘looking’ to be looking
If you are one of the 10% of LinkedIn members actively seeking work, the bad news is that the site’s Corporate Recruiter tool, which it sells to employers, allows them access to the “passive” 90% of members in jobs.
“From the corporate perspective, the talent pool is shrinking,” says Jeffery, co-author of an essay entitled Recruitment 3.0: A Vision for the Future of Recruitment. “Competitors are getting better at recruiting people from rivals, and graduate talent is becoming of a more mixed quality. We have to be much more aggressive at getting out into the passive pool.”
However, Jared Goralnick, founder of email management serviceAwayFind, believes social media can empower jobseekers.
“If employers are filtering for people who have jobs when they’re recruiting, maybe you can’t get into that pool. But it’s still only one of the pools,” he says. How people present themselves online, he says, is “a huge opportunity to put yourself in a position of authority”.
Goralnick says LinkedIn “has predictive algorithms that can tell when someone is looking to move on, when someone starts updating their profile in a certain way” – one reason why it pays to keep your profile up to date.
2 Build your own work brand, but be judicious with it
To make yourself more visible, think about how you present and express skills and experience on a LinkedIn profile just as carefully as you would with a paper CV. Keep your summary and experience concise and to the point, incorporating key search terms.
And widen your appeal by linking out to blogposts or articles of professional relevance – even to your other social media profiles if you are confident they portray you in a good light (see point five). LinkedIn has more tips here.
But making too much noise without substance can be risky. Employers can be suspicious of people who seem to be trying too hard to get noticed, so think carefully about paid-for services that claim to flag up your visibility, such as LinkedIn’s Job Seeker Premium.
“Who are you a ‘featured’ candidate for? All this tells me is that you opted to pay so you can get moved to the top of the search list. It does NOTHING to prove you are a top-notch candidate,” writes entrepreneur and employer Adrienne Graham on her Forbes blog, Work in Progress. “If you didn’t get attention before, what makes you think paying a few extra dollars will make you all of a sudden desirable?”
Suggestion: don’t just call it all social media marketing. Call at least part of it community management.
Why? Because words and phrases get worn out. Or they get clogged like a motor boat’s propeller in a swamp. And social media marketing has been worn out by too many people with too many fake names talking up too many products with too many fake offers.
But community management is a better way to describe the business role of developing personality, relationships with people, and conversation. Marketing is getting people to know, like, and trust. Social media belongs there. Social media should be part of the marketing mix, especially for smaller businesses, individual businesses, and expert businesses.
But there is a part of social media that differs from most of the rest of the marketing mix because it’s inherently conversational. Conversation means as much listening as talking, and no shouting.
To me, LinkedIn has always seemed like more of a place to hunt for a new gig than anything else. And since I haven’t been in the job market for a while, I’ve paid it little mind.
Plus, I’ve always thought LinkedIn was kind of … well, boring. If Facebook is a rave at a hip downtown hot spot, LinkedIn is a stuffy reception with piped-in music at one of those soulless function facilities conveniently located at the end of an exit ramp.
Does that sound harsh? For sure. But now I’ve realized that I couldn’t have been more wrong.
While the early adopters flock to Google+ and our kids and moms become power-users on Facebook, LinkedIn is where business gets done. Execs from all Fortune 500 companies are there, and 59 percent of those active on social networking sites say LinkedIn is their platform of choice over Facebook or Twitter, up from 41 percent who called LinkedIn their most important social account a year earlier, according to a June report by Performics and ROI Research.
LinkedIn, it turns out, is a happening place. As of this spring, it has more than 100 million members in more than 200 countries, on all seven continents. In June–following a splashy and successful May initial public offering–LinkedIn counted 33.9 million unique visitors, up 63 percent from a year earlier, according to internet analytics firm comScore. That traffic meant it eclipsed Myspace as the second most popular social network on the web (after Facebook). (Of course, suggesting that LinkedIn eclipsed Myspace is a little like noting that the Rolling Stones are more popular than The Wiggles. The former remains relevant and continues to increase its audience, whereas the latter has limited and specific appeal–albeit to a passionate and loyal following.)