You spend your day at your computer answering ads for jobs. But you are not getting responses. It seems like your application goes into a black hole. Well, that is partially true. You should be spending only 10% of your time answering ads on job boards because only 10% of job seekers actually land a job from answering ads.
Why? First off, 144 million people are on LinkedIn and hundreds of thousands of people are answering ads. Then you have to contend with ATS – Applicant Tracking Systems, which match your resume to the job description to search for key words.
So, if you do answer ads, here are some tips to get the most out of your time and energy:
1. Only apply for jobs where you meet 80 to 90 percent of the qualifications. Don’t waste your time on something that sounds interesting, but you don’t have most of the qualifications. Answer the ad with 24 hours of its appearance.
2. Tweak your resume to include key words from the job descriptions. The more key words, and the more frequently they appear in your cover letter and on your resume, the better chance you have of being noticed by the ATS. Answer all the fields in the online application. Do not include salary. If they ask, just put in $1 or $10 or $100. Also include a short cover note tailoring your resume to the job.
3. Research the name of the hiring manager in the department and location for that job. Find out the email address and phone number. You can find this out either on the company website, on LinkedIn or other websites. Use LinkedIn to see if any of your 1st, 2nd, or 3rd degree contacts work in the same company. Get an introduction.
4. Write directly to the hiring manager, the person in a position to hire you if there is a position and you are a fit. Send the same resume and cover letter you attached online. Say you will call to follow up.
5. Call the hiring manager to get a meeting.It may take a few tries to get through to the hiring manager, and past the gatekeeper. Keep trying. Do not leave a message. Say, Mr/Ms So-and-so is expecting your call.