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To Get Hired, Use a Personal Touch

November 27, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

After 30 years in the recruiting industry, Dave Flanders believes he’s seen the one surefire way to land a job: Give your resume to 100 friends, acquaintances and relatives; tell them you’re looking for work; and ask them to keep you in mind.

Usually, Flanders says, a job offer comes before you’ve even distributed all 100 resumes.

He endorses the technique _ especially in a period of high unemployment and low hiring _ precisely because there are about six job hunters for every advertised job opening.

It works, says the recruiter, a partner with Christopher & Long and HCap Search in Kansas City, because you’re not just one of dozens, if not hundreds, of applicants for a posted position.

You’re “applying” and “interviewing” for jobs that may not have been conceived yet.

It works because you’re using personal contacts.

If you hate that buzzword networking, think of this as talking to people you know.

Not one of your personal contacts may themselves have a job for you. But when you tell them that you’re looking and ask them to keep you in mind, they may recommend you to someone who does.

That’s the best way for you to gain access to the “hidden” job market _ the small businesses you’ve probably never heard of that could use your skills.

Despite the recession, some small businesses are ready to hire, but they don’t want to make a hiring mistake. They feel safer hiring someone they know or someone who is recommended by someone they know.

Flanders acknowledges that this job hunting technique isn’t easy for many midcareer (or older) job hunters. It demands getting “out there,” overcoming embarrassment and letting people know you’re looking.

Don’t worry about trying to target certain people, jobs or skill sets. Small businesses, Flanders said, are more likely to “hire people” than to “fill jobs.”

It’s not like applying for advertised jobs, when you’re going to be tested as a 100 percent perfect fit for the job description. A personal voucher trumps all.

Categories: General
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