Resume writing is a skill that is all-too-often overlooked. As a resume writer, I pride myself on crafting beautifully designed, professional resumes. Creating a visually pleasing layout with powerful skills statements are just a few of the ways I help job seekers show that they are the ‘right’ candidate for the job.
What is often not discussed in the resume writing world is the importance of networking when it comes to job search. Having a great resume is commendable but getting a referral or making a personal connection with someone at the company cannot be overlooked.
Did you know that only 20% of jobs are actually posted? This means that 80% of job opening are obtained through the hidden job market.
If you are relying solely on job search websites or company career pages, you are only tapping into the 20% of jobs out there. This method of job searching is very REACTIVE. That is, you wait for the right posting to come up and then develop your application in response. When an employer posts a job posting online, they have likely already posted the position internally and/or asked around for recommendations from friends, family and staff. Their decision to post on a job search website was a last resort.
The best way to look for a job is the PROACTIVE approach. This is when you get out there and start connecting with other professionals. Go to networking event, shake hands with people, connect with people on LinkedIn, go for a coffee with someone on SHAPR.
In a previous blog post I discussed the importance of informational interviews and can’t emphasize enough how valuable this is to your job search. It is such a great, strategic way to not only learn more about your industry but to start expanding you network. By expanding your network you become a part of someone else’s network. This is how you tap into the 80% of jobs not posted. You want to be the person that someone recommends or thinks about when a new opportunity arises.
What does this have to do with resume development?
Having a good resume will certainly improve your chances of applying for the 20% of jobs posted but the reality is that in very few cases it will lead to a direct job offer. If you want to optimize you job search efforts the solution isn’t just getting a better resume - it is actually getting a personal recommendation or referral.
So, my advice to you is to stop relying on the REACTIVE JOB SEARCH METHOD to land your next job. Get out there and start to meet people in your industry. Expand your prospects of landing your next job by connecting with others. After all, it is people who get people jobs - not solely your resume.