Finding a new job is hard enough but landing the job of your dreams at a top company is even harder. These days, you need to have strong contacts, an established social media presence and tech savvy and the right experience to land dream role at Fortune 500 companies. If you’re looking for a new gig or just have your eyes set on one company in particular you have to be intentional in your steps to get there. There are plenty of smart, talented people who aren’t getting the opportunities they deserve because they are going about the job hunt in the wrong way. For example you can be overqualified for a position but end up not getting an offer if you sent in a terrible cover letter or didn’t tailor you resume to the job posting.
Getting a job when the company isn’t hiring might increase your chances of your resume being looked at since HR isn’t getting an influx of resumes. The average job posting get its first applicant within 200 seconds of being posted. There are many things you can do before you begin wooing company representatives, such as double-checking for spelling errors on your resume, updating your LinkedIn profile, and making sure you have a professional email address.
To get a job at a coveted company, here are five things you can do to increase your chances:
Get an internship. Getting an internship or working for free is a great way to get your foot in the door at a company you want to someday work full-time at. Even if there’s just someone in particular who you’d like to build a relationship with, this is a great way to do so. You can have great success landing an internship or entry-level position at a company by just sending a cold email. As long as you address it to the right person, and communicate the value you can bring to the table, they have no reason to say no – especially if you’re working for free.
Become a brand advocate. You ever notice how the social media influencers get sponsorships and free goodies from different companies? It’s not just because they have a lot of followers or good engagement, but these are the brands they use in their everyday lives anyway. If you are already a fan of the brand, be vocal about that on social media and tag them in posts when you can. If you have a blog or podcast, it can’t hurt to try and shout them out and let your audience know that you’re a fan of their work. Follow their social media accounts, any news concerning them and engage with them. Even if a recruiter doesn’t recognize you from social media, you can still use these things to prove that you understand the company and are already a part of their customer base. Do your research and gain a true understanding for why you want to work for them, “I need a job” isn’t good enough.
Present a solution. If you’re an expert in their industry, prove it by telling them in an email or cover letter that you know what problems they are facing. For example, right now a lot of brands are trying to engage consumers via social media with a large focus on video. If you’re a video editor or social media whiz, pitch some ideas that are tailored specifically to them and they’ll definitely hear you out. People get hired because they provide value to the teams they work on. Identify a problem in your industry and think of actionable steps the company can take to fix it. In some cases, if you are really impressive, but they don’t have any openings the hiring manager might decide to create a role to bring you aboard.
Informational interviews. The key to informational interviews is understanding that the benefits won’t come right away. With informational interviews you are trying to network and make a connection so when the time is right, you have someone in the company looking out for you. The best opportunities will always come from within your network, so conducting plenty of these interviews will pay off in the long run. Recommendations and word of mouth are very powerful tools that you can use to your advantage. Find a successful employee at a company you like and make a good impression on them. When something does open up, you’ll be the first person they think of. Most jobs are posted with someone in mind already anyway, whether it be internal or external.
Get involved. Online connections can get someone to notice you but facetime will get someone to hire you. Get involved by attending events the company is sponsoring or that representatives will be at and introduce yourself. People are immediately turned off when meeting someone who expresses they are job hunting or want something from them. Focus on making casual, authentic acquaintances with your potential future colleagues instead. If your dream company is involved in community service at all, try showing up for those events as well to meet new people who can help you get a foot in the door.
What do you accredit your job search success to, and what tips do you have for Creative Smart Girls hunting for their next big break?