After working with many people who are looking for a ne career opportunity, I’ve come to learn there’s one thing that determines everything. That one thing will result in the person who lands the role that they’re ecstatic about and the person that takes a job because it’s their only option.
That one thing is persistence. That core competency must absolutely permeate through the entire search process including searching, applying, interviewing, and following up. It’s rare that the first role you interview for becomes the one you land. The issue is that people become discouraged after the first rejection and they’re not persistent afterwards.
It’s not about who’s hiring on the job boards, your search should be about who you want to work for. The job boards will provide you context on companies that are growing, but you should leverage company profiles on LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and your network of contacts to pro-actively identify a company you’d be excited about working for. Identify 5-10 companies and then strategize on the appropriate way to introduce yourself to the organizations.
Be persistent in your search.
Once you identify the companies, leverage LinkedIn to connect with current employees of the company. Politely ask them if they’d have a couple minutes to chat about their experience at the company and they could potentially refer you into HR. You can directly reach out to recruiters at the company on LinkedIn and ask them if the role you’re exploring is one of their requisitions. Hitting apply is just checking the box, be persistent in your application process.
The actual interview process can be daunting and could take weeks or even months. Many companies have other people than the recruiters interviewing candidates, so finding the time on everyone’s calendar wether it’s an interview with one person or a panel can take time. You could have made a fantastic impression during your interviews but perhaps there was a hiring freeze for the next month, be patient. But be persistent with your interviewing.
The day after your interview, follow up with an email to the person that interviewed you. Prior to leaving the interview, ask them for their business card or e-mail address. Send them an e-mail and thank them for their time, but make it personal. Tell them something you found interesting during the conversation, it will let them know you were actively listening and were interested in the conversation. If they don’t respond regarding next steps, send a follow up email after a week if you haven’t heard back. If they still haven’t gotten back to you, give it another few days but send another e-mail. Last resort, find another manager or recruiter and tell them you were concerned you hadn’t heard back and you want to make sure that person is okay or perhaps they were on vacation but their out of office responder wasn’t on. Be persistent in your follow up.
Again, it’s rare you land the perfect job with the first company you interview with. It’s not about redundantly doing the same thing, it’s important to have a heightened level of self-awareness so you can learn from each experience and tweak your approach to become more prepared and more polished every encounter you have with the next recruiter. I can honestly say I was incredibly prepared for my last interview process. Not because of the books I read, but because of how applied my learnings and improved every real-life experience when I had the opportunity to put it into practice during interviews. If you are persistent in every aspect of the process while being honest with yourself in areas you can improve, your persistence will pay dividends with a job opportunity that you will love.