Here is the key to landing your dream job
You probably know this already – sending off 1000 job applications to find your dream job probably won’t work. In some cases, it will – I’m sure sending applications to a thousand different Starbucks would yield something, but for most of us in the field of knowledge work – the company is looking for someone who has a high degree of suitability for the role, the right experience and the right mindset. This doesn’t shine through if you send a boilerplate application off.
Let’s say that you arrived in a new city today and want to find a dream job in your field of expertise. What do you do? You would probably search on LinkedIn and google to see other recruitment sites that are active in the area. You would research what recruitment agencies are around and if they cater for your area of work. You might even post on social media that you are looking for work. And you know what, all of these things might work!
But here is the fundamental truth to landing your dream job:
“You need to find the person who knows about this job not the job itself.”
All of the strategies above (LinkedIn, job sites, recruitment agencies, posting on twitter) all of those exist to help connect you to the person who knows about and is filling this job post. That’s what they do. And it’s fine – this is the common process today and it can work.
But there’s a better way to go about this. Be someone who knows this person. Before the job even arises. Get to a point of trust, familiarity and even have shared experiences if possible. Then assuming you are a good fit and qualified for the job (of course), you’re in prime territory. The question is whether such an approach is even possible, and of course the answer is yes, but with a little twist.
You can’t meet everyone in person in a city like New York or London. But you can identify and meet with the “connectors”. Start with the meetup hosts, the conference organizers, the entrepreneurs, investors, educators and communities. Don’t chat randomly to one person at the next event. Seek out the organizer, talk, identify things in common, help out, meet outside of the event and make your purpose clearly known to them. Because a recommendation or connection from this connector to the person with the job you want is effective proxies for knowing you themselves. You have come recommended from someone they trust.