How to differentiate yourself from the other candidates who submit their resume.
By Lisa Chenofsky Singer
As appeared in “Ask the Career Coach” Column on MillburnPatch.com
Dear Career Coach Lisa,
How do you get your resume noticed? I have sent out many resumes after graduating from school last May and have not gotten many interviews yet.
This is a great follow up question to last week’s column on Getting Your Resume through the Door. Although technology has played a significant role in changing how applicants are selected, the key to getting noticed is to networking your way into an organization.
Applying for a position online is not enough. You need to determine if you know anyone at the company or if someone you know knows someone in the organization. With all of the online tools, the ability to search for connections is at our fingertips.
The key is how you introduce yourself to a new connection and then how you develop this network connection. There is protocol to requesting a connection pass on LinkedIn. You write a note to your direct connection asking them to connect you to their connection. The in-mail should clearly explain the value of connecting you with their contact. When you do this, you want to think about how to engage this once removed connection further to cultivate a new relationship. You also want to keep your initial direct connection informed of your activity on this matter.
Think of social media as one conduit to connecting but the real connection comes in the relationship that is established over time. Think of your personal relationships. You speak with your friends and family often. You will need to engage with your business contacts that have common interests or where you can complement each other on a steady basis. It helps to build the relationship and create a value proposition between you.
There will be times when you are asking and there should be times when you are giving. It will not always be an even exchange depending on what projects and learning stages you and your contact are in. Asking your connections their opinion is great way to obtain some guidance and also provide them with an unspoken message that you value their thoughts.
Getting your resume introduced to the company’s recruiter or hiring manager is incredibly helpful to getting noticed. Let others in your network know what you are looking for and know what they are seeking. If they are working, offer to help them with some research possibly for a project they are working on. This will build your knowledge and you will be adding value to your connection. Get noticed by engaging others in building relationships over time.
About this column:
“Ask the Career Coach” is a column dedicated to those who may be in transition or wrestling with a career dilemma by providing a forum for advice.