If you’ve been applying to jobs online you’ve probably discovered it’s time consuming and very hit and miss.  Maybe you’ve sent out countless résumés to dozens, if not hundreds, of job postings to no avail.

That’s because the application process is designed to WEED OUT as many people as possible, including you (no offense!).

It’s also a strong indication that your résumé and Linkedin profile might be weak which you need to address immediately by contacting me here to book a complimentary 20-minute discovery call.

Forget the “spray and pray” method

There’s a way more effective approach that can significantly increase your chances of landing your desired position.

Your focus should be on networking to generate as many informational meetings as possible. (Notice I didn’t say “interview”.)

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t apply to any jobs online – just be selective and don’t rely on it as the key strategy.

According to experts, a large percentage of jobs are NOT advertised

Employers typically begin their talent search through networking and referrals. It tends to produce better candidates in less time without the headache of wading through the hundreds of résumés that each job vacancy attracts.

If employers can find potential employees through networking and referrals, why not take a similar approach and generate informational meetings by reaching out to hiring managers?

It’s a well documented fact that the best way to find a job is through networking and Informational meetings are an effective way to do that.

What an informational meeting is and isn’t

#1 – It’s not an interview

#2 – It’s a meeting for you to ask questions and gather information about a job function, industry, and company

#3 – It’s a way to network with professionals in your desired field, to get referrals of other people you can network with, and to possibly get leads for job openings

The benefits of informational meetings

#1 – You’ll find out about “hidden jobs” that aren’t advertised

#2 – You’ll speak directly to hiring managers who understand the kind of job/industry/company you’re targeting

#3 – It can significantly cut down the time it takes you to secure a position

#4 – It allows you to practice your interviewing skills in a less stressful situation

#5 – You can ask for referrals and set up informational meetings with those “warm” leads

#6 – The hiring manager might be inspired to consider you for a job opening (assuming you presented yourself well)

First steps to successful informational meetings

Establish a clear strategy

Every great process starts with a plan.

What’s your target position and industry?  Who are the companies you’re interested in working for and why? Who are the hiring managers you’re going to reach out to?

Here’s a marketing tip:  The more you niche your jobs search, the better the results.  Casting out too wide a net can be counter productive.

Create your personal brand

You’ve got to have a killer résumé and Linkedin profile that supports your strategy.

Even though you’re NOT asking for actual interviews, you still need to market yourself effectively.

When  you reach out to people, the first thing they’ll do is look at your Linkedin profile, so you better have one that’s fully optimized and clearly communicates your value.

Most people who are willing to meet with you will ask you to email them your résumé.

If they don’t ask for it, you can request permission to send it and say that it would be helpful for them to familiarize themselves with your work history prior to the meeting.

If you score an in-person meeting, take copies of your résumé because you never know who might be there and who will ask for it.  If the meeting went well, you can ask if they can give you feedback about your résumé.

Make a list of people to contact

The more people you reach out to, the better your chances of landing a job sooner than later.

Start contacting people you actually know in your personal network then expand that with hiring managers who are connected with you on Linkedin.

If you don’t have enough suitable connections on Linkedin, you’ll have to connect with people in your target field and build your network.

Ask for help

There’s no magic bullet to getting the meeting. You just ask for it.

Whether you’re phoning or emailing, you want to be professional, clear, and brief.  You can start with stating who you are, how you know one another,  what your specialty is, and how you help organizations.

Be considerate and say that you know they are busy and would appreciate it if they could spare about 20 minutes of their time to meet with you in person (preferred) or by video/phone call.

Be crystal clear that you are conducting career research and not expecting a job out of this.

How many people should you reach out to?

I emailed about 40 people on behalf of a client of mine and got 7 people agreeing to meet with her. Out of those meetings, there were 2 job offers.  But that was a junior level person.

A more senior level person might need to contact many more people to generate multiple meetings. (I read somewhere that the magic number is 12 informational meetings to produce at least one job offer.)

Whatever the numbers are, they are significant, so don’t think that you can contact a handful of people and expect great results.

Job search success is a numbers game – the more people you reach out to, the more meetings you’ll get, and the closer you’ll be to securing your desired position.

More effort = More results

And if you’re thinking this is too “difficult” and “time consuming” think again.

Is it not worth a bit of discomfort to get a job offer sooner than 5 months? Because the last time I checked, that’s the average amount of time it takes someone to land new position.

Any of this sound familiar?

You don’t know where to start.

You don’t know what to say.

You’re afraid you’ll be bugging people.

You don’t want to look needy and desperate.

Can you relate?

You won’t die

It’s true – you might annoy someone but that’s unlikely if you conduct yourself professionally.  And you probably wouldn’t want to work with them anyways, so you’ve lost nothing.

If you contact enough people, you’ll find some who will be willing to help.  Most people are decent about it, especially those who remember their own job search and how frustrating it was.

So, take a deep breath, relax, and get over it. It might be painful but you won’t die. 😊

There’s more help below…

Create a résumé that converts into interviews

The scary fact is, only about 2% to 3% of résumés actually result in interviews. To boost your chances, you need a résumé that has a higher rate of converting into interviews. Click on the button below and get started on creating a higher-converting résumé.

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If you’d like to schedule a call with Diana to find out how she can help you stand out and get noticed (in a good way) so you can land interviews and get hired sooner than later, click here to set up a free discovery call.

Hi! I’m Diana.

I draw from over 15 years recruitment, career/job search coaching, and sales/marketing experience to help all kinds of jobseekers stand out, get noticed, and get hired for their dream job.

Need help? That’s what I’m here for!

Are you in the midst of a job search and not getting the results you want? Or, are you employed and not actively looking but want to “get ready” in case your situation changes and you need to launch a job search?

Don’t get caught in the endless cycle of applying to jobs, hearing little to nothing, and becoming more frustrated.

I offer both “Done-For-You” and “DIY” options to help you overcome the obstacles and get you on the right track to accelerate your job landing success. You choose the level of service you feel you need that fits your budget.

Maybe all you need is a quick résumé critique. If your search is complicated, a more comprehensive package might be the solution. Or, it could be something in between. You’ve got options!

You can learn more about my professional background here and about how I can help you here.

To find out how I can help you, email me here or set up a quick chat with me here.