If you’ve been applying to opening after opening and not getting any bites (read: interviews or offers), it could be because referred candidates are snagging the roles first.
While you’ve no doubt heard that it’s all about who you know when you’re looking for a job, that’s more true than ever. A recent Jobvite article shared data showing that referred applicants are 15 times more likely to be hired than applicants who apply via a job board.
Crazy, right? Well here’s another fun fact from their 2015 Recruiter Nation survey: Nearly 80% of recruiters noted referrals as the best way to find quality hires, and this figure has remained consistent.
What does this mean for you? Well, for one thing, it cements the importance of networking, but it also makes it abundantly clear where you should be putting your efforts (hint: into meeting people who work at your dream companies). You can pull this off more easily than you think.
Put the word out there that you’re looking for a job. (Literally, send this email to your friends and and family.) Ask them to connect you with anyone they think can help and would be willing to spend time speaking with you. You never know who you’ll meet who might one day have the power to connect you to an awesome opportunity. Be persistent. This isn’t the time to let your nerves get in the way.
If that doesn’t turn up any leads, you still have another option before you send your resume into the abyss: Go on LinkedIn and find people who work at the company to connect with (and you can use these templates to make your life easier). Ask questions about the organization, their role, and the one you’ve got your sights set on. Many companies offer referral bonuses to employees so they’re usually happy to submit your name once they know how awesome you are are.
And more often than not, you’re going to find that your request to forge a connection, to have a conversation, is well-received. I, for one, have found it to be true, and, as a result, I’ve always responded in kind, happy to help in any small way I can.
Photo of person looking at reference list courtesy of Maskot/Getty Images.