When an employer includes a job description in a job posting, they are actually doing something every little kid does during the Christmas holidays… writing out their wish list… a checklist for their dream candidate.
But does that person really exist? The truth is that perfect candidate rarely ever applies.. Why? Because there is no such thing; every candidate will lack one or more of the specified skills.
And even if that seemingly perfect candidate did show up, there is another truth buried somewhere in the strategy of applying for work through a job board: a lot of what the employer REALLY wants isn’t posted in that announcement… ever.
Which is why job boards and applying online without having any “warm contacts” at the target company won’t do you any good.
Your goal as a job seeker? Find out what they REALLY want. And to do that, you must network the heck out of the company to find an internal contact willing to provide you the real scoop on what the hiring manager is REALLY looking for in a candidate.
That internal champion is also where you’ll gather the right business intelligence about the challenges the company is facing, what the corporate culture is like, what the management team’s approach involves, and where they want this position to go.
Once you have a contact on the inside, go to work by gathering as much information as you can about what makes the company tick!
It’s time to give up the job searching strategy of simply sitting at home and clicking “send” 80+ times as your standard application process. In the current job market, that strategy simply does not work!
That job posting on a job board might be a great lead to a good job – but that is all it is. Starting with your personal network, LinkedIn (and LinkedIn Groups), Twitter, alumni and industry associations, you must find your internal champion at that company.
You need to work harder than everyone who settles for relying on the job description and settles for clicking that ‘Apply Now’ button.
You need to dig deeper. You need to find the hidden truth about what the employer really wants! Only then will you know if you are the right fit. Only then will you get invited to a job interview.
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Pathfinder Writing and Career Services!
About the Author: Dawn Rasmussen, CMP, is the president of Pathfinder Writing and Career Services, where she provides results-oriented résumé, cover letter, and job search coaching services. She is the official “Get the Job” columnist for One+ Magazine distributed to over 26,000 meeting professionals worldwide, and Talentzoo.com, a job resource site for creative and marketing professionals. Dawn is also a recognized career expert on Careerealism.com – a top 10 world-ranked career advice blog – and a regular contributor to TalentCulture.com’s weekly meeting #tchat on Twitter. Follow Dawn on Twitter!