So you’ve been applying and applying only to continue getting that dreaded rejection email we’re almost too familiar with – it goes a little like this:
“Thank you for your application. We regret to inform you that the position has now been filled, but we will hold on to your resume in case anything comes up in the future.”
You’ve now applied to every single job listed on Seek, Jobsearch, CareerOne, etc – people all around you are getting hired except you. What’s going on?! Who are these people that are more qualified than you?
Well the truth is, they may not be more qualified – they may just know something you don’t. According to a study by TheLadders, about half of all jobs don’t even make it to the job boards and traditional job seeking sites.
Why aren’t the jobs posted?
So many positions are filled with referrals these days that posting the role isn’t always necessary. Recruiters deal with applicants all day long and when they find good people, they can send them on other jobs even before they are posted. Managers also have an extensive network and often reach out to former colleagues and their current team for recommendations before going out to the market. When there is a previous relationship and someone providing support of a candidate, hiring managers feel more comfortable and feel like that person will be more successful.
How do you find out about these jobs?
First you need to make sure your profile is positive and showcases you as a great candidate. You should start by reviewing your resume and LinkedIn profile to assess what changes will help you stand out from the crowd. Perhaps you could sign up for a review service like TopResume? They will give you a free assessment and then offer you their paid services. There are loads of other free services as well, from YouTube videos to articles and freebies from career coaches.
Pro tip: If you’re a Kaplan Business School student, your best bet is to organise a meeting with your on-campus Careers Officer and have them go over your resume with you.
Next, you need to reach out to your existing network to let them know your ambitions. You will be surprised at how many people you know by association. You just need an introduction to get a chance at some of these openings. Think your friend from college’s brother or your mom’s friend, who works at the company you are interested in. Any of these seemingly distant connections could be your foot in the door – you’ll just need to have a think about your individual network and who can get you where.
Should I even apply to jobs?
Of course! Even if you don’t land the job you applied for, with a great profile you may spark the interest of the recruiter that will be recruiting for several other positions. That recruiter may even ask if they can send you to other recruiters in their network. In addition, even though many jobs are not posted, there are still plenty that are. The idea here is not to stray into just one camp, but to increase your overall hitrate by tapping into both markets.
What Else Can You Do?
Work on growing your network in the area that you are interested in working in. You can do that via LinkedIn, networking events, and keeping in touch with former classmates, friends, and colleagues. Make sure you connect with them at other times aside from just when you want a new job. Here is a great video on networking to help you.
Keeping in contact with these people will allow you to hear about those unadvertised jobs sooner and be referred to the job. You will get a leg up on the completion and have a much better opportunity to land the job.
Are you ready to get an advantage on everyone else out there looking for a new job? You will be a great asset to the company you want to join, you just have to get in front of the right people. Don’t forget to make use of our career services if you’re a Kaplan Business School student!