Get that job – 3 keys to get an interview for your job of choice!

Today as you scan the positions available you may identify  an opportunity to use your current skill set in a different role or industry. Alternately, it may be a promotion or sideways move. If you have made the decision to change jobs this year or to find a job that you love to do, firstly you have to get an interview.

Competition for middle and senior management jobs has never been fiercer as the volume of great jobs in the marketplace decreases in our tight marketplace. Here are 3 tips to fast track your resume to the top of the “to be interviewed” list. Please note these 3 tips are recommended prior to you sending off your application.

1. Give them exactly what they ask for. If they ask for a cover letter, give them a cover letter. If they ask for five referees, give them five referees. Avoid giving potential employers reason to delete or “bin” your application. A human resources manager recently told me that in today’s tight market, he may receive 70+ applications for a position. 50% of these are culled because they did not give exactly what was requested.

2. Do your homework. If you are using then it is usually clear who the employer is, unless it is a recruitment company listing, where the client would be more ambiguous. Spend time on the potential employer’s website. Find out who is on the board, make a note of their names. Look at the senior management team, make a note of their names. Are their any charities they support or corporate social responsibility activities they are involved in? Do you see any familiar names/faces? See if you can find the name of the current person in the position you are applying for. Next step is to spend time on LinkedIn and look up the names of people on the board and on the senior management team. Who do you know who knows any of these people? Look at your 1st and 2nd level LinkedIn connections – how are these people connected to you, if at all? Study the key player’s profiles, do you share common interests? How long since you have made contact with any of these people, is it appropriate to reconnect and mention you are applying for this role? Would you feel comfortable asking one of your connections, who are linked to the key players, if it would be okay to list them as a referees?  A word of warning though, some people may decline your request to be a referee. That’s fine, if you receive a no, just move to the next person on the list.

3. Research the industry – what significant changes are happening around their client base? You are looking for snippets that you can include in your cover letter to show that you understand their industry and are up to date with recent developments/disaster/mergers etc. e.g. If one of their major clients has just retrenched 1,000 people then it stands to reason they are looking for new business to replace that revenue. And some of their other client’s may potentially be under pressure.

If all this sounds like too much trouble, well don’t be surprised if you are not short listed for an interview. Recruitment decisions are very costly and most HR managers are wanting to be as certain as possible that they have made the right selection. Don’t give potential employers any reasons for declining your application.

Effort + Time + Research + Finding Connections = Results = An Interview

Good luck with the job search!

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