Landing a job with an industry leader: Using the right bait

This is the second post of a multipart blog entry designed to share a few lessons learned during my 25 year professional career. Go to the first post entitled Landing a job with an industry leader to read the other entries.

Landing a job is like catching fish. Using the proper bait for your targeted fish species and for the environmental conditions is extremely important. Adapt that same line of thought for your job search. A large part of the process is about perspective. Are you offering the right information to potential recruiters and hiring managers based on their perspective? At a very basic level the trick is to:

  1. Fully understand the employment need of your target company
  2. Demonstrate that you are good match for that need

Of course there can be some complications around following these steps. As long as you are persistent, and willing to do some investigative work, you have a great chance of landing the job. Understand that many opportunities are not advertised. My current job wasn’t even open when I interviewed but I knew that the company had a need for someone with skills like mine. When I interviewed I showcased the skills that the hiring manager needed for a role on his team. Even though they didn’t have an open position for me they created one.

Getting the right bait

So how do you get the right bait?  In order to entice someone to hire you you need to invest in yourself by developing the necessary skills. Read my previous post to learn about preparing to catch fish.

The perspective of the Fish

Folks that are serious about fishing start thinking like a fish. Apply this same logic to your job search; start thinking like a recruiter or hiring manager. Develop an online brand or profile that exhibits your skills. Industry leaders tend to have highly skilled recruiters that are able to locate high quality employees. How will they find you? What will they think if they do find you? For the most part, anything a recruiter or hiring manager sees about you online is lumped together to form their impression of you. This online first impression can have a major impact on the rest of the hiring process.

Ideally, you want to be able to point to your online brand or profile from your resume and during your interview to showcase your skills. This is one very public way to show others that you are active, knowledgeable and supportive to others. Here are some ideas to help you get started:

  • Create and maintain a completed LinkedIn profile and set it to public. Your profile should include all the aspects of your professional career that you would like perspective employers to know but at a general level. It should give them a flavor of you but leave them wanting to ask for more details. Careful not to exclude yourself by displaying a view of yourself that is too narrow. Many companies are relying heavily on LinkedIn as their main source of recruitment. Here’s my profile:
  • Place a link to your LinkedIn profile in your email signature and develop as many meaningful connections as possible.
  • Be sure to participate in the groups. This is the way to make connections and it demonstrates your activity.
  • Blog and syndicate your posts through LinkedIn updates. Also share relevant industry information, daily if possible.
  • Join and contribute to online communities. Check out myITforum as a start. LinkedIn is a great way to connect with folks but it isn’t a substitute for a community.
  • Always remain positive in your online interactions. Consider the perspective of your current and future employer in everything you do online.
  • If you utilize social media properly, employment opportunities will find you.

Here are some tips about resumes and cover letters along similar lines:

  • Customize your resume by target role. Consider the perspective of the recruiter or hiring manager and adjust accordingly.
  • Refine your resume. Consider your resume as both a way to get your foot in the door and as talking points during your interview. The resume needs to strike a balance between showcasing the required skill for the role, while not getting too bogged down with details.
  • Resumes need to be concise while somewhat general, allowing you to quickly show you have the skills and experience to be an asset.
  • Always send a cover letter and a thank you note. Use a cover letter to demonstrate how your skills will fill the needs they have. Email is fine for both.

If you are looking for a job change feel free to drop me a line: . I may have some leads to share.


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