Based on my experience, 95% of job seekers approach recruiters and headhunters via email or LinkedIn mainly by asking if there would be a suitable job available or that they would be interested in hearing about new opportunities. Maybe not exactly with those words, but the message is always practically the same. They often list a few of their latest roles and work experiences, and after that, they throw the ball to the recruiter like it’s a bit up to him/her to figure out the rest. How many recruiters do you think will do absolutely anything after receiving this type of message? Yes, the answer is absolutely no one.
Finding a job is already very challenging and will only become more difficult in the future due to the current situation. Many great professionals have lost their jobs for many different reasons that are not related to their performance. Even though things are heating up and the recruitment market is moving again, the difficulties caused to companies by the pandemic will probably be seen still during the next couple of years.
However, I believe and hope that the recovery will be much faster than, for example, it was after the financial crisis. Things went then more evenly downwards for a more extended period of time. Now everything ended like we would’ve hit the wall. So, I believe that the recovery will start to happen as soon as vaccines make their way on a large scale into the countries and population. The economy begins to reinvent itself, adapting to this new “normality”.
Either way, there will be a lot more people looking for a job in the coming months. Many might perhaps start considering moving to another country just for this reason. Therefore, if you are currently in this situation, you should also take a few minutes and think about how you should approach this from a whole new perspective. Instead of coming up with a strategy based on large numbers and approaching hundreds of people at once, try instead to look for about 10 to 20 companies that you really find appealing to you and your profile. Search for a few key employees in each of these companies, and then send a networking request with an adequate message that is customized for each.
It is useful to read about the company a bit, usually on their blogs or their company page on LinkedIn you can relevant updated news about them, that you could mention or congratulate them about. This will make them understand that you are aware of who they are and what they do. But before anything, do your homework first.
Instead of asking them directly for a job, try to present and show why you are very interested in working for them. Don’t be shy, and explain clearly what you have to offer in terms of experience, skills, and especially what the company would gain if they would hire you. Since you cannot know who will ultimately be responsible for the recruitment, this is also a great question to ask. If the person who received the message directs you to another person, you should take advantage of this by sending a message similar to this one: “I talked to (person’s name), and he/she said I should contact you.” With this, you will ensure that your message is quite often read.
For that approach to work, you also need to spend a little time thinking about what you are really great at. And when I say great, I actually mean something that you are exceptionally good, better than the rest. Being a hard-worker, a good team player, or able to learn quickly are definitely NOT some of these special features. These are way too common (also by far the most popular answers in the job interview🤦🏼♂️), and for many recruiters, you should obviously have these skills to begin with! So, forget the clichés and really focus on tangible things, and most of all, really try to justify or support them with facts and results from your previous roles.
It’s not possible to know whether the company has the specific need for this know-how that you could offer them. This way, you can at least distinguish yourself from the rest by approaching companies and decision-makers with a different and targeted message. It is also worth thinking about highlighting and bringing out your skillset. Perhaps a couple of blog posts, a few quality articles published on your LinkedIn page, video blogs, some special mentions, records broken, an employee of the month trophy, it can be really a lot of things to make you look good.
Today, especially online, you have so many easy opportunities to stand out, and for example, creating your own www.yourname.com website has never been easier. Your personal website is a great tool to build your own personal brand and it will be very useful even when you have a job. When it comes to selling for example, there’s a B2C, there’s B2B, and then there’s H2H = Human to Human. No matter what we buy, especially in the business-to-business world, we tend to still buy it from another person. Having your personal website is super easy to do and also a natural way to show your professionalism and stand out during the sales process, just like you would stand out in the recruitment process.
Also, the good news is that when you start doing things like I just wrote, you move yourself to that 5% who’s getting it right and usually always finding the new job a lot faster.