Who's Hiring NOW from the Fortune 500 - Vol III
Career Amnesia

Job Seekers: Body-Slam Your Competition

The following post is courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap:

From: Lorraine Russo

As job seekers look for ways to stand out from the crowd—and as recruiters continue to whine and complain about the increasing volume of resumes of unqualified candidates filling their inboxes—job seekers today need to be more innovative with body-slamming their competition.

I use this term figuratively, of course.

Yes, job searching these days is a contact sport. With unemployment now at a 26-year high, your search requires solid action plans, follow-through, and the ability to assertively market and sell yourself — or an idea — to a potential employer. And while at all times you must remain professional and dignified, there ARE ways to get a hiring manager’s attention without having to walk the streets with a sandwich board saying “HIRE ME” hanging from your shoulders.

We all know the core problem is that you are competing with hundreds of people for one job. If the numbers are to be believed, upwards of 200-500 people apply for any given job—each and every day.

Consider this scenario: Company X posts an opening on a job board for, say, an accountant. Now, there are zillions of accountants out there who are reading this particular ad and saying, “Wow, this is a perfect match for me…let me submit my resume NOW. In fact, everything on my resume is EXACTLY what this company is looking for. I have no doubt that the minute I hit the APPLY NOW button my phone is gonna ring.”

Um…not exactly. Because all those other accountants—your competition—plus hundreds of unqualified job seekers, will apply for the same job. Your competition has the same job search agent set up. If they are all sitting at their PCs when the job is posted, you can consider your chances of getting a response to YOUR application to be just about nil.

“…it’s just like when you toss a piece of meat at a pack of hungry cats…”

The reality is that they all clicked the APPLY NOW button at roughly the same time as you; their resumes, along with yours, were sucked into the black hole. Chances are, your resume will never be seen--at least not by a human. And the recruiter, overwhelmed by the sheer volume of responses, does the "eeny-meeny-miney-mo" thing and picks the first 10 applicants to review. If your application is number 11 or 200, I can just about guarantee it will never be seen.

So, given this grim scenario, follow me to the whiteboard for a quick discussion on how you can get to the hiring manager and leave your competition in the dust.

I went to Indeed and ran a simple search for an accountant. Without refining the search, it shows more than 27,000 postings with the term ‘accountant’ in it. The first job in the search results is for Aon in Burlington, VT.

A little creative Googling for AON employees tells me the naming convention for their email is @agl.aon.com. So I run a Google search using this string (including the quotes): “@agl.aon.com” -- which gives me a whole bunch of AON folks. Refine the search to include the terms “accountant” and “Vermont” -- this is what you get.

Now, use the job description to work on your elevator pitch. But first write an email in the form of an elevator pitch to the person(s) who may be responsible for hiring for this opening.

POSITION SUMMARY: We have an excellent career opportunity available for an Accountant in our Burlington, Vermont office.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES: Handle the day to day financial reporting operations and regulatory compliance requirements of Aon Insurance Managers' US based captive insurance clients including the preparation of monthly financial statements. The individual would be part of a team servicing several clients and will have the assistance of an Account Executive and Insurance Manager. This person needs to be familiar with generally accepted accounting principles.

REQUIRED EXPERIENCE: Recent college graduate or 1 year experience in the accounting field. Insurance accounting is a plus.

EDUCATION: Bachelors with accounting concentration.

Your email (and elevator pitch) should read something like this:

Dear _______: I am seeking an Accountant position in Burlington VT. For the past xx years, I have been handling the day-to-day financial reporting operations and regulatory compliance requirements for ABC Company. My duties also include preparing monthly financial statements. I am highly familiar with GAAP.

I will call you tomorrow to discuss.

Get the picture? Now, for those of you who might hesitate to cold-call, with the email sent and the promise to follow up with a call, the actual call will not be a cold one. It’s what sales people call “warm leads” –- those in which the recipient, at some level, expects a call and will not react like a deer in the headlights.

For folks who are not accountants but wish to look into other AON opportunities, take a look at their career site -- AON is a global insurance brokerage and consulting firm with openings across the country. Use the Google search string from above (“@agl.aon.com”) and find the AON hiring managers for an opening that interests you.

Above all, always remain professional and positive in your communications, as any hint of anger or desperation will quickly turn a hiring manager off.

If you have any difficulty getting started with a company's email naming convention or other searches, drop a comment here. Good luck in your search.

Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by CollegeRecruiter.com, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.

Comments

Job Descriptions

My favorite above all is always remain professional and positive in your communications. Communicating is a great tool but it has to be proactive so that the reactions of other people will be fairly smooth and misinterpretations are eliminated.

Bill

This is some really great advice - really, it's a tutorial on finding relevant contacts at prospective companies.

Thank you for the information!

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