Monday, March 27, 2006

Job Seekers: Forget the "Resume' Black-Hole" & kick-start your Job Search

"I have recently applied on-line for a job at a major airline. It's been a couple of weeks and the only thing I've heard from the airline came in the form of a postcard which said,

"Thanks for applying, blahblahblahblahblah......."

Should I just keep waiting, believing they'll really contact me when they are ready to talk? I exceed the requirements of the job and have an advanced degree that pertains directly to the position. Any suggestions?"

I applaud your patience, but firmly believe that too many job-seekers sit back and wait patiently for the call that never comes (it's kind of like waiting for a Valentine from the person you secretly love. The only problem is, they don't have a clue that you exist).

The solution? Give them a clue.

Start an aggressive networking campaign targeted at the airline. Contact everybody you know - everybody. Be forthright in your request - "Who do you know that works at "X" Airline, or, who do you know that might know somebody that works there?" You have not because you ask not.

Search Google for email addresses that might pertain to the Airline. Your goal is to find recruiters that work at the airline. Knowing the email extension for one of the local (DFW) airlines, I did a quick Google search:

(recruiter OR recruiting OR recruitment) AND ("x" AND email)

This search is obviously not the works of a "Boolean Search God," but it still brings up relevant results. The "x" represents the email extension of the airline. In a matter of seconds, I had email addresses for three recruiters from that specific airline.

Here's a bit of free advice - do not send the recruiter a looooong email detailing every aspect of your background.

1) Be brief
2) Be bright
3) Be gone

Do the same on voice-mail. Leave a succinct, compelling voice-mail requesting their assistance to put you in touch with the recruiter responsible for the position.

Finally, do the same with a thank-you card. After sending the email and leaving a thoughtful, brief voice-mail, follow-up with a thank-you card describing your gratitude for their assistance.

A lot of work? Well, it certainly beats the black-hole alternative.

First things first...if you do not have a LinkedIn account, get one. Now, put it to use. I just did a quick search on the "Airline/Aviation" industry on LinkedIn and came up with 14 recruiters that work directly for a specific Airline. In fact, some are in my LinkedIn network - others are only 2 degrees away. Get these folks in your network and start communicating with them.
If you need a kick-start, do a search on LinkedIn for my name (Dennis Smith) and see how I've used LinkedIn to network myself with industry and recruiting leaders. If you want to be easily found, you need to put yourself in a position where people can find you. LinkedIn is the best place to start.

I'm sure you saw this one coming a mile away...start a blog. In the words of Six Apart's Anil Dash:

"Connect with the audience you care about."

I know it's a stretch to believe anybody really "cares" about the recruiter, but hey, they are the audience you want to reach and blogging is a great way to make that connection.

Here's where I beat the dead horse:

If you want to be easily found, put yourself in a
position where people can find you - namely, a blog.

This is not intended to be an exhaustive list of alternatives for job-seekers. But I think these 4 things can give your job search a kick start.

Send me an email if you have any questions:

Dennis Smith
Talent Acquisition Manager

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