Since my Monthly Book Stack post, I’ve discovered a marketing concept that also relates to applying for jobs; Permission Marketing
Seth Godin talks about permission marketing as opposed to interruption marketing. I’ve taken this approach in applying to jobs without even realizing this modern marketing concept. So far, this book talks about building relationships with customers in order for them to give you their attention, invest time in research and then becoming a customer. Applying for jobs can be the same way – interrupting the human resources inbox with a resume that might look the same as everyone else’s. Speaking to fellow job hunters, we’ve heard it before; it’s not what you know but who you know.
Yeah, but why? Why does it have to be like that? Why can’t my resume that I spent hours on be enough?
Because the general public is overwhelmed with options and endless information available. And the hiring process is the same. Hiring managers love it when a coworker can pull that one glowing resume out from all those other glowing resumes and say, “I know her, she is a hard worker and great personality that will fit in our culture.” Even if a resume is unique, worded perfectly and has all the job description buzzwords, sometimes it’s still not enough and those connections become vital.
By having those connections at the company you are applying to, you are more likely to get a job by having your contact refer you for that position. The job postings are out there, the professionals willing to help, the rest is up to you. My personal biggest fear when instructed to bridge that gap was:
“What if I don’t know the person I should reach out to very well…at all?”
I wrote in a recent blog post about the book, “The Defining Decade.” Another great concept in it was the fact that most twentysomthing’s friends and acquaintances are too close professionally to be of assistance in the job search. They are all either in the same place and do not have the resources themselves to help each other or they are simply in different fields and do not have a lot to offer directly.
Off the top of my head I can think of my five closest friends and their fields: education, medical technology, engineering, environmental science and fashion. Since I’m not looking to work in any of their companies perhaps they can refer me to one of their friends who works for a marketing agency, where I want to end up.
By spreading the word, I’ve connected with so many of my friends connections. By essentially asking for their permission to connect and establish a relationship, the chance for a response AND later referral is greater. My friends have referred me to their marketing contacts and have gotten further in my job search. This week I have an informational interview set up with a marketing expert referred from the friend who is in engineering and the friend in fashion works at Target who was able to pass on a recommendation to her HR contact for a job I applied to.