Students and recent graduates often ask me how it’s possible to have sent out dozens to hundreds of applications and not received more than a handful of interviews, if that. Let me tell you a little secret: The “spray and pray” method of job searching is no longer effective. You’re wasting your valuable time.
Networking. And I’m not just talking about social networking. Get offline and meet people! Sure, you can find jobs on Twitter, but you’ll probably have even more luck talking to someone (or a group of someones) in person. There are a ton of resources out there about networking, one of which is specifically designed for the millennial generation which I’ve compiled into a site called GenYNetworking.com. Check it out!
Referrals. Get to know people already inside the places where you want to work. Having someone personally recommend you (and possibly hand-deliver your cover letter and résumé) to a hiring manager is extremely powerful.
Informational interviews. This is an opportunity for you to actually meet with the company of your dreams. The only caveat is that you’re asking for advice, not a job – at least at first. Build the relationship and let them get to know you. If there’s a fit, they’ll definitely invite you in.
Strong online presence. Be found. The way people are funneled into the hiring process is constantly changing, so it behooves you to learn how to control what people are finding when they Google your name or keywords associated with what you want to do.
What else would you suggest are the top ways people are landing interviews today?