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Part 2: "I’ve applied for so many jobs but haven’t had a response. Why?" (Hint: Contains spoilers!)

In last week’s blog, our international recruiter and certified career coach Lois Freeke explained how to improve your job search chances on job noticeboards.

In part 2 of this series, Lois discusses a much more effective way to find a new role.

So last week you said a chance of getting a response through applying online would be about 6%. That’s a pretty low strike rate. What’s a better way to find a job?

The number one way you’ll get a job is by getting referred into a job opportunity. You can also significantly improve your chances by finding a direct route to the hiring manager.

Many jobs are hidden, they’re not advertised. Instead recruiters and line managers ask their networks who they know. Sometimes they post the job online, sometimes they don’t.

The point is you should not be relying on job boards and it is not the most efficient way to get a job, even if you are well qualified.

How can you find that direct route to the hiring manager?

Whenever you find a job you want to apply for, try to make sure you’re connecting with someone who can refer you in. Make strategic connections with hiring influencers and managers in your target organisations, and ask people in your network to help refer you to those in the organisation who could pass on your resume.

Hiring managers trust referrals, and many organisations are relying on employee referrals at the moment. People hire people they like and trust, and that’s why they go to their networks. This is why it’s important to remain connected and ask people in your network to help refer you to those in the organisation who could pass on your resume to the hiring manager.

How can you expand your networks?

LinkedIn is a great way to connect with people you know, whether they’re inside or outside your industry.

If you’re not sure how to set up your LinkedIn profile, be sure to join our online webinar where we talk about how to improve your profile. These offer tips from specialists like myself who have been in the industry for some time, and can guide you on what to do to attract the attention of recruiters.

When you connect with people, make sure you send them a note of introduction and focus on building a relationship rather than asking for a job or a referral directly. If you are contacting a recruiter, do some research first to see if the recruiter works in your target sector, rather than just sending your resume to them.

Make sure your online networks represent your real life networks and then expand with purpose. Think of who needs to know about you to help you get the job you want. On LinkedIn also research and join groups, connect with your alumni and also people who work in your target organisations, and those who have worked there before (use search filters), to learn about the organisation.

Of course you can use many other online groups and platforms to help with your job search and build your network, such as Facebook and Twitter, Professional associations can be a great way to meet people in the same sector you want to work in, and of course face to face networking is becoming more of an option.

Are there other ways to improve your chances?

Think about how you can transfer your skills to another sector. At Project Displaced we’ve seen a lot of people from airlines such as Qantas, travel of course has suffered during Covid, as has hospitality.

You can transfer most skills to another sector. The quickest way to transition to a new industry is to review your existing skill set, and find clear and distinct parallels in another sector. Project Displaced has a specific session to help you identify your transferable skill set.

The other thing to do is look at employment trends – which sectors are now advertising jobs? Job Outlook and Department of Education, Skills and Employment are helpful sites to check.

Examine your own skill set, draw out the skills that could fit in one of those industries, and focus your job search. Look at the online job boards as starting point, but approach the organisation directly through people who can refer you whenever you can. You can find the hiring manager, even when their names are not listed, by doing some LinkedIn research.

You have to think of yourself being a problem solver. Understand what your true value proposition is, what your super strengths are, (the things people seek your advice on will help highlight this), think about what organisational problem you solve that organisations need and are willing to pay for?

This means that, rather than sitting back and waiting for your job to come to you, you are actively going out and designing your own job and will greatly increase your chances of landing a new role more quickly.

If you’re having trouble finding a role, be sure to reach out to one of our Project Displaced volunteers. They’re all experts in their field and can give you invaluable advice and guidance to help you find your new path. We also have a Job Market webinar that will help build on the advice in this article.





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