Job hunting is not just about proving your ability to do the job; it’s also about building trust and establishing strong relationships with potential employers. According to research from Ernst & Young and Deloitte, employee recommendations account for nearly half of all hires. Additionally, referred candidates have a 40% better chance of being hired than other applicants who aren’t referred.
So why is this the case?
Employers want to work with people they like and trust. Personality and attitude matter as much as skill and experience. In many cases, coworkers spend more time with each other than with their families and friends. Therefore, you need to be not only intelligent but also easy to work with every day.
The Secret to Building Trust
To establish trust with potential employers, you must focus on meeting their needs. Instead of thinking only about what they can do for you, consider what you can do for them. Think about the needs of people in places where you would like to work. Some common needs include:
- A strong work ethic
- Being a pleasant person to be around
- Creative thinking
- Persuasive speaking ability
- Being easy to talk to
- Care and concern for coworkers
- Specialized knowledge (e.g., technology, social networking, accounting, etc.)
Think about how you can fulfill these needs when engaging with potential employers. Even if you don’t think you have much to offer, everyone has something valuable to bring to the table. For instance, you might be an excellent listener or have a passion for common interests.
To get started, spend ten minutes making a list of the things you’re good at. This should include both business and personal skills:
- Business examples: writing, public speaking, strategy, content creation, analytics, math, accounting, etc.
- Personal examples: surfing, great with dogs, golfing, making people laugh, etc.
Keep these skills in mind when talking to potential employers or clients. Strategize how these skills can help you create robust connections, and keep them in the back of your mind during interviews. Be cautious not to use irrelevant skill sets if they are not valuable to those on the other side of the table. For example, if an interviewer is serious, avoid cracking jokes constantly. If you’re applying for a writing position, don’t talk about your great calculus skills unless you’re applying for a media company that focuses on mathematics. If you can provide genuine value to those around you, you will eventually land your dream job.
The Power of Networking
Another key to hacking your way into any job is networking. This entails connecting with people on a personal level and forming relationships that go beyond business. Here are some tips for effective networking:
- Attend industry events and conferences
- Join professional organizations and groups
- Connect with people on LinkedIn
- Offer to help others, even if there’s nothing in it for you
- Follow up with people after you’ve met them
Remember that networking is not only about finding a job. It’s also about building relationships that could lead to opportunities down the road. Even if someone you meet isn’t able to help you find a job right away, they might know someone who can. And if you’ve built a strong relationship with them, they’ll be more likely to think of you when they hear about an opportunity.
The Importance of Personal Branding
Personal branding is more important than ever in today’s competitive job market. It’s what sets you apart from other job candidates and helps potential employers remember you. Here are some tips for building a robust personal brand:
- Be authentic: Don’t try to be someone you’re not. Instead, focus on highlighting your unique strengths and experiences.
- Be consistent: Your personal brand should be consistent across all of your online and offline channels, including your resume, LinkedIn profile, and social media accounts.
- Be visible: Ensure that you’re visible online and in your industry by posting regularly on social media, contributing to industry publications, and attending industry events.
- Be professional: Your personal brand should always present you as a professional, even when you’re not actively looking for a job.
Showcasing Your Skills and Experience
Once you’ve identified your skills and built a strong personal brand, it’s time to showcase what you can do. This means highlighting your skills and experience in your resume and cover letter, but it also means being able to articulate your value during interviews.
When preparing for an interview, think about how you can showcase your skills and experience in a way that is relevant to the position you’re applying for. Use specific examples and metrics whenever possible to demonstrate your impact. For example, if you’re applying for a marketing position, talk about the campaigns you’ve run and the results you’ve achieved.
Keeping Your Skills Up to Date
In today’s fast-paced job market, it’s more important than ever to keep your skills up to date. This means continually learning and developing new skills that are relevant to your industry. Here are some ways to stay on top of your game:
- Attend industry events and conferences
- Take online courses and certifications
- Read industry publications and blogs
- Participate in online forums and discussions
- Join industry groups and organizations
By continually learning and developing new skills, you’ll be better positioned to compete for the best jobs in your industry.
In conclusion, hacking your way into any job requires a combination of building trust, networking, personal branding, and showcasing your skills and experience. By focusing on fulfilling the needs of potential employers and building strong relationships with them, you’ll be well on your way to landing your dream job.
Remember to be authentic, consistent, visible, and professional when building your personal brand, and keep your skills up to date by continually learning and developing new ones. With these strategies in mind, you’ll be well positioned to succeed in today’s competitive job market.