Only 15% of open positions are posted on job boards, so an effective job search strategy will require you to contact companies who don’t have ads posted. Your time is valuable though, and many of these companies are not just sitting around waiting for your call. This means you need a very specific strategy to determine which companies to contact and how best to reach out.
Tip #1: Select Companies to Target
Start by building a list of target companies. This list should include companies you already know that you would like to work for, companies in the same industry as your current or former employers, companies that worked with or provided services to your current or former employers, companies in the news with projects or initiatives that will require your skills, and companies where your friends and family work.
Tip #2 Get Into the “Name Game”
When it comes to calling or emailing an employer, your goal should be to directly contact the person who has the power to interview you. If you have a contact who works at the company, you can get the contact names and information from them. If you don’t have a contact, you can find them rather easily by doing a Google Search (more on that here). To verify names and contact info, and possibly get an extension, call the company and talk to the operator.
Tip #3: Give Them a Reason to Pay Attention
Consider your communication with a Hiring Manager via phone or email to be a quick elevator pitch. Not only are you pitching yourself to the Hiring Manager, but you are convincing them that they should take time out of their busy schedule to further communicate with you. The best way to do this is to craft your pitch to their current, and future, needs. By researching the company, what they stand for, and their wants and needs, you can craft a quick WIFM (What’s In It For Me?) commercial that outlines why it’s a good use of their time to consider you. Give them tangible reasons to pay attention to your skills, and experience, and help them visualize where you would fit into the company.