If you’re looking for a job in New York you need to ask yourself one very important question. Are you maximizing your chances of landing your dream job? Most people simply post their resume on Linkedin or cold apply to jobs without attempting to have a meaningful conversation with hiring managers. Even though New York currently has the best job outlook it has seen since 2008, as represented by a total wage increase of 5.1% for 2014, the highest it has been since 2007, you still need to do more to land your dream job in New York. If all you are doing is filling out applications and posting your resume on a few career websites, you’re not doing everything that you can be to land the job you want.
Relationships are still, and will forever be, the most important aspect of landing a job. It’s also not enough to just know people, they must know you and you must be at the top of their mind whenever someone tells them about an open position. Luckily, in 2016 there is no excuse to not have a extensive network that you stay engaged with. The prevalence of Linkedin and Twitter among professionals has made hiring managers easier than ever to get in touch with as long as you’re not afraid of a little bit of hustle. A recent LifeHacker article even highlighted how a recent grad with zero connections was able to network her way into a job she loves.
To help you build relationships that could land you a job in just weeks, let’s walk through eight job search hacks that aren’t being used enough.
Define your IEP (Ideal Job Profile)
It’s impossible to find something if you don’t know what you are trying to find. That’s why you need to begin your job search by defining what you want out of your next job. This “Ideal Job Profile” should act as a guide when you are deciding what companies you most want to work for. Your ideal job profile should answer the following questions at the very least:
What do I want to be doing every day at my new job?
What type of environment do I want by new job to be?
Where do I want my new job to lead me to in 5 years?
What am I good at now?
What do I want to learn at my new job?
What is important to me when looking for an employer?
Where do I want to live? Am I willing to move?
These questions should be a good starting point in creating your IJP, but they don’t have to be the only one’s you ask yourself. Think further about what you want and expand on these questions to refine your IJP.
Make a list of Ideal Companies
Now that you have an IJP, you can begin to make a list of companies that will fit what you are looking for. Starting your job search with a list of companies instead of a job board will help you stay focused on working for a company that you want to work for.
Use Linkedin to help you search for businesses that meet your location and role specific criteria and create a list anywhere from 25 – 100 companies to start. Don’t worry about being too broad initially. You can always remove companies from this list as you find out more about them.
Build your resume for the job you want
A common mistake job hunters make is not building a resume for the job they want. If a position demands a creative mind with a “get things done” attitude, it doesn’t make sense to send them a resume that doesn’t highlight your accomplishments and creativity.
Your resume should instead act as a template that can be altered as you apply to different roles. If you are applying for positions in the same industry, you shouldn’t need to change your resume much between companies if at all. However, if you are torn between working as a marketing analyst at a F500 and a content creator at a digital agency, chances are you will need to customize your resume for these different roles.
Find out who you know
As we said earlier, the key to job hunting is who knows you. You can start to increase the number of people that know you by simply figuring out who knows those around you. Luckily, this can easily be done with Linkedin. When you are applying for a position, also search for who you believe to be the hiring manager via Linkedin search. Once you’ve found them, check out their profile and see if you have any connections in common with that hiring manager or if you have any shared schools, groups, or interests.
Ask for introductions
When you do find that you do have connections in common with a hiring manager at a company that you’d like to work for through a mutual friend, don’t be afraid to ask for an introduction.
Just create a personalized email explaining to them exactly what type of job you’re looking for and who they could connect you with. You can take the extra step and even provide them a template they could use to make an email introduction.
Remember to be respectful of people’s time and do your research. Don’t spam your network with a mass email asking for any introductions they may be able to provide. Do your research and have a detailed reason you want to speak to anyone you want to be introduced to.
Supersize your network
Your network is likely not as large as you would hope it is. You can beef up your network quickly by joining groups both online and offline.
LinkedIn and Facebook both have tons of industry and job-specific groups and often location specific groups. These groups can act as icebreakers when reaching out to people to ask for introductions.
You should also expand your network offline as much as possible. Join Meetup groups, go to lunches and invite people out for a coffee break. Being as active as possible and creating networking opportunities is going to help you get your name out much faster.
Don’t just apply, follow up
Possibly the most important step after applying for a job is the follow-up. Your cold application most likely won’t even be read, let alone properly digested and replied to if you don’t pair your application with an email outreach to a hiring manager. Shift the odds in your favor by emailing hiring managers to introduce yourself and asking for a few minutes of their time for a quick chat.
Reaching out proactively will help you be noticed by hiring managers and get you extra points for being proactive. All of this adds up to more meaningful conversations with people in your industry and more job interviews. A recent article in LifeHacker magazine details how a New Yorker recently landed her dream job in 10 weeks by following up with hiring managers after she applied and cold emailing companies. Check out how she did it and the tools stack that she used.
Approach your job hunt like it’s a full-time job (because it is)
One of the biggest reasons people don’t find jobs as quickly as they’d like to is that they don’t put in the time and effort that they need to in order to be successful. Job hunting requires the mentality of a full-time job, which means you should expect to be active in your job hunt for 40+ hours a week.
Expect to be networking in person or offline every day, multiple times per day. You need to check job boards like http://www.newyorkjobs.com/ and constantly be updating your cover letter and resume. Your dream job isn’t going to come looking for you. You’ve got to go hunt it down and take it. The only way you can do that is by putting in the necessary time.
Sending in applications is passive. Posting your resume on job boards is passive. Though you may feel like you’ve done a lot of work by submitting dozens of applications, you haven’t done everything that you can do until you commit to working every day to connect with those in a position to hire you. Whether that means sending cold emails (with follow-ups!) or asking for introductions from your network, you must do what you need to do every single day to get in front of hiring managers.