While the job boards continue to list hundreds of job openings, responding to those positions as directed in the ad, seldom results in a response. What I suggest is that if the ad mentions the company’s name or the name of the person who posted the ad, try going to LinkedIn.com or ZoomInfo.com and conducting a search on the company or recruiter to gather more information. Ask people in your network, “Who do you know who works in the ABC company?” or “Who do you know who might know a recruited named John Doe?” Of course, if the person you’re asking knows someone in the company or the recruiter, they will say so, but if not, these questions will trigger their brain to search its database to come up with a name. This is the open-ended question strategy that works much better than a question that will elicit a yes or no answer.
Your goal is to “network” yourself into the hiring company versus responding to the ad. Ultimately, you may still need to respond to the ad, however, if someone on the inside is on the lookout for your resume, you’ll have a much better chance of getting an interview. This strategy is working for several of my clients and they are winning interviews and getting offers.
To expand your network and gain the support you need, consider joining a job search support group. There are many job search groups supported by local churches and ministries, business and professional groups, trade groups and associations, civic organizations, universities, and alumni groups, and chambers of commerce. There are also vocational services groups and government employment programs for trade professionals and the general workforce. Check your local newspapers and online websites to find networking and job support groups in your area.
To leverage your time and efforts, you will want to pick a group whose members are at an equivalent professional level as you. For example, if you’re a senior-level executive earning north of $200K, you’ll want to be in a group with similarly accomplished executives. Try to find a group with an educational component, a knowledgeable leader, professional speakers, and some type of accountability that can keep you moving forward.
In addition to a networking opportunity, these groups can boost your emotional well-being by providing a space where you can share your feelings, frustrations, and experiences with other like-minded folks who understand your position, your emotions, and your concerns.