The year is 2022.
To get hired, many of us are either sending in resumes. Or applying on job portals.
If you are doing that, 2 things are happening to you.
Your application is going to be one of a thousand others that the recruiter is going to consider.
You will not be amongst the first talents that your prospective employer would consider.
This is because today, companies don't necesary hire through the front door. They prefer very much to find proven talent through the back door. And what is this back door I'm talking about?
Referrals. Networking. Hiring from contract staff who have proven themselves.
As reported by Hubspot, 85% of jobs are secured through networking. And CNBC reports that 70% of job vacancies are never openly publicised.
This means that if you are hiring through a job posting, you are not their priority. It is when they have run out of options that they will consider you. You are not the main dish, you have become the leftover.
And you dont want to do that to secure your career, do you?
So how do you get hired through the back door?
If not resume, then what?
How do you get noticed by employers rather than going out to make them notice?
Here are 5 strategies you can immediately implement to get hired ahead of the crowd:
1) Build your Personal Brand
You cannot run away from the fact that your prospective employers would look for you online. And sometimes the first thing that they may do when looking for talent- just like me and you- is to google for it.
This is where you need to start building your own personal brand digitally.
Instead of thinking that employers have the upper hand, think of it as a level playing field. You can start branding and marketing yourself in a way that companies knock on your door rather than joining the recruitment rat race.
2) Network with Industry Professionals
Did you see the statistic about getting hired through referrals? So how do you even get referred when I hardly know anybody?
One thing you can start doing is to network digitally. Here's the plan.
- List down the companies that you want to work for
- Go to LinkedIn and look for people who are already working in these companies
- Start networking with them digitally
- You can start by asking any questions you may have about the industry/company
- Keep warm with them by liking/sharing/commenting on their posts
3) Do some Gig Jobs
Get into the gig economy. Go to Upwork.com or Fiverr.com and look at the variety of jobs that organisations out there hire freelancers and gig workers to do. These could include typing minutes, designing presentations or even voiceovers. You could find a task that you are good at and market yourself on the site.
You could promote your services with companies that you wish to work for in the future. Even though your gig may have nothing to do with the career you would like to pursue. What you are doing is building your credibility and reliability with the organisation. So that when it comes to actually applying for the full-time position, they would be more than thrilled to find a familiar face.
4) Create Digital Content
A lot of jobs ask for work experience. But let's fact it. Not all fresh graduates and entry workers would have an abundance of it. But what you lack in experience, you can make up in exposure. Best way to do it?
Be a content creator. You don't need to have a thousand followers or the most sophisticated tech to be one. All you need is you. And a social media account.
Start with one social media platform of choice. Research about the latest challenges or trends in the field you want to pursue. Start creating content about it.
Here are some ideas you could take inspiration from :
-How-To Video Tutorials
-Podcast with Industry Professionals
-Tweets about latest industry trends
-Lessons from the Industry
-Blog Posts about Ideas to solve industry challenges
Be consistent in your posting. After a while, you would have contributed quite a body of knowledge in your prospective field. And when prospective employers start looking around, they would be bound to stumble upon you.
5) Maintain your Digital Portfolio
Many resumes can land on the table of the hiring managers. But beyond statements of how good or qualified you are, they want to see evidence of your work. That's why you must document evey single piece of work you are involved in. Whether you wrote a research paper about the latest medical breakthrough or organised an event for your local community, showcase it.
There are many online digital portfolio platforms available such as Coroflot or Behance. But some of them may be more suited to a certain industry such as design and media. So the best place to showcase your digital portfolio? On your social media.
LinkedIn has a place where you can include skills and projects. Or you can showcase them in the form of a photo album on your Facebook Page. Short snippets of you in action would also be valuable. And you can post them on Tiktok, Instagram Reels or YouTube Shorts.
Just remember to include these :
-The event and your contribution
-Visuals or Videos of you in action
-The key lessons you learnt
-Any testimonials would be a bonus