8) Once you apply, get to work to find an internal referral to make a personal introduction. Here’s how:
a) Make a list of 50 people you know and ask each one if they know someone who works (or has worked) at that employer.
b) Attend job fairs to meet face-to-face with employers and other professionals.
c) Create a free profile and become active on LinkedIn.com or Facebook.com, which boast a combined 60 million users. Surely you can find someone who knows someone to make that connection. d) Create a free Twitter.com account and “follow” friends and post requests for help.
e) Join an association in your field and network with like-minded peers.
f) Connect with your high school and college alumni groups. Old pals could be new connectors.
g) Talk to your unlikely network. For example, look at the class list of the parents of your kids’ friends. Anytime my kids hear about a friend’s mom or dad who’s lost a job, they tell them to call me. Even though we don’t know each other, we have a common connection that can sometimes lead to a contact.
9) Follow up with a call or email to the recruiter responsible for filling the position. Never say, “Did you get my resume?” Instead be ready to reiterate your strong qualifications and interest in the role. You’ll have just a brief moment to sell yourself, so rehearse before making the call or sending the email.
10) Don’t know the name of the right person? Cold-call the company and ask an operator to put you through. If that doesn’t work, Google the term “recruiter” or “human resource director” along with the name of your employer of choice. The results may reveal the name you’re trying to find. LinkedIn is another resource to find the correct name.
11) Stay top of mind. Every recruiter is different, which makes this a challenge. Some say you’re welcome to follow up weekly. Others say every other week is enough. And then there are some who’ll tell you to never call. Find the right balance so you’re politely persistent without crossing over to a pest.
12) Ask directly for advice on how and when to follow up. A simple question, “What’s the best way to keep in touch?” will give you the details you need to stay ahead of the pack.
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