“If they would just give me a chance!”
We’ve all had this same pleading thought during an internship or job search.
I’ve made that statement many times in the past, both in my head and out loud… sometimes quite loud. The urgency increases when applying for an opening we find really interesting, or as our search drags on… days turning into weeks… maybe months.
However, not all of us feel our search for employment relies on chance. I don’t anymore – and I want you to join me in this realization. I want you to promise never to say “if they would just give me a chance!” again.
Why? Because there’s a better way…
Open Your Eyes… and Realize
Realize, right now, that there’s no such thing as giving a random applicant – including you – a chance. A recruiter must hire the best candidates on paper – every time. Their own job performance is based on the quality and perceived safety of these hires; the recruiter simply will not put their own job on the line to give someone “a chance”.
Reduce Risk through Referrals
As a job seeker, one of your primary tasks is to reduce the perceived risk of hiring you. To do that, and go from “random applicant” (and one who formerly relied on a chance) to getting your resume in the recruiter’s “must interview” folder… you must become a known quantity, through referrals. In fact, a recent survey by Jobvite indicates that 84% of us get hired through a referral. Through this process, you as an applicant will move from being just another applicant to a “known quantity” – and a much lower risk to the recruiter.
Network, Network, Network!
Does that mean you’re out of luck if you don’t know anyone at a company? Absolutely not! Through networking, anyone can become a known quantity. Here are a few tips:
Become a regular on Twitter; participate in Twitter chats, or just communicate with your followers and peers. Also, follow the Twitter feeds of your target companies and re-tweet and comment on their tweets.
Seek out recruiters and networking connections on LinkedIn. By searching out a company you’ll be given access to many of the employees at that company – including recruiters, someone in your sphere of influence or perhaps someone with whom you share something in common (your alma mater, fraternities, sororities and clubs for example)
Through informational interviews, develop a connection with someone at a company you wish to join, or with someone in your desired industry. When you make a stellar impression, you’ll now have a potential referral resource (and to the recruiter, this self-referral helps you accomplish your goal of becoming less of an unknown)
Contribute relevant and articulate comments to both blog and Linkedin discussions. This is not only an efficient way to network, your comments also become part of your personal brand.
As an internship or job seeker, you are now empowered with the knowledge that there is no such thing as being “given a chance” by a recruiter. You’ll network your way into referrals – and reduce the perception of risk. You’ll now put yourself ahead of all the career competition who still hope and plead that a recruiter will hire them even if they’re clearly not qualified for the position.
You are now better than that – and will never again have to scream “just gimme’ a chance!”
About the Author: Dave Ellis is an original member of the YouTern team and instrumental to its success… in fact, he’s so awesome there wouldn’t be a YouTern without him (and he might have written this bio himself). Dave serves as YouTern’s Community Manager and Content Manager, and enjoys his role as the company’s overall “Man Behind the Curtain”. In his spare time, Dave volunteers, rescuing and rehabilitating sea lions and baby elephant seals. Follow Dave on Twitter!