If I could narrow down the one reason I got all three job offers and two promotions in my first three years in Canada, it would be this:
It’s not because I’m qualified.
It’s not because I have exceptional experience.
It’s not because I have a great resumé – although it’s pretty darn good 😉
In fact, it’s because for all those five job applications, I did the one thing most job seekers don’t do when they apply for jobs:
Get in direct contact with the hiring manager.
Without this crucial step in your application, you’re exposing yourself to countless ways your resumé is going to get lost in the sea of other applicants applying for the same job as you.
An online job application is not like Netflix or Amazon. You won’t get a job-on-demand just because you filled out a form. It’s still a very human process – and that’s a good thing.
Because even if you don’t qualify for the job on paper, you still have an opportunity to convince the hiring executives to call you for the interview anyway.
Recently, a client told me “I didn’t apply for the job because they asked for 10+ years of experience and I only have 7”.
I replied to him saying “If I was the hiring manager, I would rather hire someone I can get along with who has less experience, than someone who is hard to manage who is more qualified on paper.”
Directly contacting the hiring executives shows that you really want this job. It gives them some insight into your writing and communication skills. It shows you think differently. All of these are qualities that a hiring manager cherishes.
Sure, the most likely response you will get is “Please apply for the job online”, and that should be expected. They can’t show you any favouritism. But now you are on their radar, especially if you’ve crafted your messaging in a way that shows you’ve done your research, and gets them curious about you.
Yes – it’s another painful step in your online job application that you have to endure. As if customizing your resumé wasn’t hard enough. But these are the times we are living in right now. Competition is fierce. Jobs are not always awarded to the most qualified. They are awarded to those who stand out from the crowd.
So the next time you’re applying for the job, do you candidacy a favour – do a filtered search on LinkedIn, get the hiring manager’s contact, and message them directly.
It was a game-changer for me and my client’s careers and will be for you as well.