While this comment probably sounds absurd, here are 3 reasons why it’s absolutely true:
- If a job is promoted to the public, you are certainly not the only person who can see it or apply. When a job is advertised, an organization can receive hundreds of applications within a matter of hours. Some top employers even receive thousands of unsolicited resumes every week. Good luck standing out in a pile of 13,279 resumes. On a side-note, the best way to stand out in a stack of resumes is not to use keywords or a high-tech software program to beat a computer system’s screening process. The best way to stand out in a stack of resumes is to never end up in the stack in the first place.
- Many publicly advertised jobs are not currently available. When you see an advertised job (regardless of where/how it is being promoted), it is often too late because the job was already filled. There is no fool-proof way to know, although the longer it has been posted, the less likely it is still vacant. In some cases, employers just want to see what is out there, and they aren’t 100% committed to or even that serious about hiring someone. Have you ever given online dating a try just to “see what’s out there?” Employers engage in non-committal scoping, too.
- Most job openings are never publicly advertised anyway. Employers will only promote a job opening to the public as a total last-ditch effort. Put yourself in the shoes of a hiring person for a second. Would you rather hire someone you found on Craig’s List or someone you trust from your existing network? It’s a no-brainer. When I worked in the NBA, HR for our company would send a memo to the entire staff whenever a position became available. We could then talk to our supervisors about applying if we wanted to change jobs within the company, or we could refer people we knew. Jobs were frequently filled without needing to look outside the organization. Some companies even compensate their employees for helping them identify talent “behind-the-scenes.” My college roommate once played in a basketball league with a guy who tried to convince him to work for his company. We later learned that the person would have gotten a $2,500 bonus if my friend had been hired through the employee’s referral.
What’s the takeaway here for job-seekers?
Stop looking for jobs, and start looking for people! When you approach the right people the right way, everything else will take care of itself…
P.S. To receive a FREE 25-page report on Job Search and Career Success Secrets for Students and Young Professionals, visit my web site at www.PeteLeibman.com.
-Pete Leibman (Pete@DreamJobAcademy.com)
-Author of “I Got My Dream Job And So Can You! 7 Steps Towards Creating Your Ideal Career After College” (due out through AMACOM in spring 2012)
-Founder of Dream Job Academy
-Keynote Speaker for The Dream Job College Tour
–Creator of The Washington Wizards’ Sports Careers Day