Large successful companies such as Procter & Gamble all target their marketing campaigns to a set demographic, and you need to do the same thing in your job search. It’s far more effective to send 10 targeted resumes than it is to send 1,000 or even 10,000 untargeted ones.
You need to hit the bulls-eye! In a job search, the bulls-eye is the key influencer who could be the decision maker in the hiring for your dream job. With only 9% of jobs advertised in Canada, and recruiters only holding about 12%, target marketing is the most productive strategy to connect with these influencers.
So how do you uncover those targets? Start with LinkedIn. Be sure to follow the company pages of the organizations you most want to work for. Learn as much as you can about the company and what is happening there, so you can build a business case as to why you should be employed at that company.
For example, you need to be able to explain why you like the product or service offering, or how you want to help them with an upcoming IPO or other major initiative.
Beyond that, target the person who would be your boss or your boss’s boss. Are there any mutual connections who can introduce you? If not, see what LinkedIn groups you have in common. When you send your personalized LinkedIn invitation (always write a custom note when connecting with someone on LinkedIn!), you can identify yourself as a fellow member of a group.
Use the same process to connect with individuals who were previously employed by the company. Learn from their firsthand experience of the company culture and its issues. Get as much evidence as you can in order to promote yourself effectively as an ideal addition to the team.
Once you’ve made these connections online, take things further and request an informational interview. People are sometimes skeptical when I suggest this, but I have seen it work. We’re in a networking society today, and more and more people are open to exploring mutually beneficial opportunities.
Remember: The closer you are to the bulls-eye – the decision maker, the more career opportunities will pass your way.