Looking for a way to speed up your job search? Then you no doubt have seen the websites out there that promise to blast your resume out to over 300 employers with 1 click. This will effectively SLOW DOWN your search guaranteed. Here’s a great analogy for you.
Let’s say Mike and I both wanted to make a meaningful connection with a girl. To accomplish this, we both decide to visit 10 bars together over the weekend. My strategy is to take 30 business cards up to the bartender when I walk through the door, ask him or her to distribute them to 30 women in the bar for me. The card will read:
My name is Paul and I’m looking for a date. I don’t care about appearance, if you are short or tall, big or small, I’m fine with them all. I need a date, I have a pulse, my name is Paul, give me a call. 867-5309
By having the bartender hand out 30 of these cards for me, I cover a lot of ground with minimal effort. Unfortunately I don’t know if the women my cards are being presented to are people whom I’d like to be around. In fact, I don’t even know if they are looking for someone, or if they would date someone of my race or gender even if they WERE looking. But 30 cards out, less than 30 seconds of effort to hand them to the bartender, seems like a good deal.
My friend Mike on the other hand spent some time the night before doing some research. When he walks through the door he stops, looks around for someone specific, finds her and walks up to her to introduce himself. “Hi, my name is Mike. My friend Joe said you might be here tonight and that I should swing by. He said you love snow shoeing, and I love snow shoeing, and that we should meet because we would really hit it off. I was wondering if I could call you some time?”
So we repeat this system through all 10 bars. By the end, he only contacted 10 people, while my name is in front of 300. He had to spend extra time and effort researching ahead of time, figuring out who would be where, he had to find a warm referral for all of them, and then he had to think of something enticing to say to each one of them specifically… and it was different for all of them. I just handed out my card and presto, 300 women had an impression of me.
Who has a better chance of making a meaningful connection first? Obviously Mike would because he took the time to show specific interest in them. Showing specific interest creates interest in you.
I’ll even throw one more “what if” in the mix. What if after our experiment someone I know refers me to someone who already has my card? When I meet her, what do you think she will think of me? I sent her a generic card, obviously not intended just for her and saying that I desperately need a date and I’m not choosy about who will take me. How much will that referral help after a first impression like that?
Sending out generic resumes that scream “I just need a job, I don’t care if you are a big company or small, I’m fine with them all…” instead of targeting companies you’ve researched, will slow down your search. Applying to fewer companies, but doing more research and targeting WILL help you land faster.
Make a list of your top ten companies where you would love to work. Then do your homework. Follow the companies in LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Look up the people who work there in LinkedIn, figure out what groups they are in, where did they work previously? What do their profiles say they are doing currently within your target company? Go make the list and stop blasting!