By Dr. John Sullivan, globally renowned strategist in the field of human resources and talent management
Most job seekers rely exclusively on job boards and their resume to get them a position. Unfortunately, using this conservative approach, there is upward of a 90% chance that your resume will never be seen by a hiring manager. If you have been frustrated with the job search results that you've been getting, now might be the ideal time to put together a bolder and more aggressive campaign. Rather than relying on your resume, the approach that I recommend focuses on getting your name, your ideas and your work in front of hiring managers and their team.
Bold approaches for getting your name noticed by hiring managers
If you're having difficulty getting your resume read by hiring decision makers, consider shifting to a new approach that utilizes your work and your ideas to get their attention.
· Internet visibility in your functional area - hiring managers continually look on the Internet for knowledge or best practices. As a result, it is critical that they see your name when they are doing their periodic Google searches. That means that you need to periodically measure your visibility and then write or comment more often in order to increase that visibility. An elevated Klout score above 50 may also be an indication of your visibility.
· Send them your solutions – every hiring manager is constantly seeking solutions to their major problems. So sending them and their team members your best solution in summary form (with a link to your more detailed solution) is an effective approach. Sending them your forecast of the near future in their industry/function may also be powerful. Sending your solution to the CEO or COO is a longshot, but it might get you a referral to the functional manager.
· Show your work on slideshare – put together a slide set covering a major problem that is currently faced by the hiring manager and post it on slideshare.com. Make sure you pretest it to ensure that it is powerful and that it fits the firm's problem.
· Show your work using an instructional video on YouTube – put together a 5 min. or less advanced instructional video in a hot problem area and post it on YouTube. An interview with a team member may also be effective. Putting pictures of your designs and work on Pinterest type sites may also be effective. In this case your work, your presentation skills and your ideas may sell you better than your resume.
· Comment on their work – utilize a Google alert to identify when someone on the hiring manager’s team posts their work, problems or ideas on the Internet. Respond with praise and eventually use criticism and suggestions to show them how they can do it significantly better. Make your comments available to them through e-mail, blog comments, snail mail or include your comments in letters to the editor.
· Comment on their product – if their product is accessible, first comment on its positive aspects and eventually be critical and show them how it can be significantly improved. If you are diverse, mentioning your diverse perspective may also help get you noticed.
· Answer questions - answering tough questions on Quora.com, Focus.com or LinkedIn will certainly get you noticed. Posting tough questions in the area where they are having problems may also be effective.
· Write a blog – a blog is an effective way of demonstrating in some detail what you know and what you can do. Write a technical blog in your subject area and include discussions of common problems and your solutions. Contact members of the hiring team and interview them for your blog. If hiring managers connect to your blog with an RSS feed, your name will more likely come up when hiring is discussed.
· Connect through LinkedIn – asking an individual to connect with you on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter will probably cause them to look up your profile on LinkedIn. Even if they say no, that request may get your name in front of them. Having a friend introduce you to a member of the hiring manager’s team on LinkedIn can also be powerful.
· Speak at events – speaking or serving on a panel covering technical topics at a local or national professional event may be a good start toward a hiring conversation.
· Send the hiring manager a message – sending the hiring manager a direct message that either asks a technical question, asks for a referral to an expert or that provides them with competitor’s best practice information can help to get you noticed. Do not mention a job in this message.
If you were an artist and someone asked you… “What would be a more effective selling approach, having a potential buyer read your resume or having them view your artwork?” Well almost everyone would choose having them view their actual work. So, if your current job search approach isn't working, it only makes sense to try something that is bolder and more aggressive. The approaches provided here are powerful because they put your work and your ideas in front of hiring managers. But this strategy has an added benefit because by merely using bold methods, you send an additional message (by your actions) that you are bold and that you act “outside the box”, traits that every manager wants.
© Dr. John Sullivan 7/20/12