4 Alternative ways of getting your foot in the door
You’re not getting any good results from your job search, right? You’ve emailed every company in your desired industry and you didn’t get the job. You’ve tried "everything" and nothing has worked! Without knowing anything about you, I know that if what you’re doing isn’t working, then it’s time to try something else. Simple, right?
Please keep in mind that some of these suggestions will be more suitable than others, depending on the type of work and the industry that you’re interested in, so it’s up to you to choose the ones that are best suited to you.
Here are 5 alternative ways to get your foot in the door of a company that you’d really like to work for.
Contact the companies directly
It’s well known that not every available job is advertised, therefore, there are many jobs that we can’t apply for if we think they don’t exist. So what can we do about it? Well, why not try contacting the company by phone and asking them if they have any positions available, or if they know of any positions that will become available in the near future. And would they mind if you sent on your CV for their reference? You may not get response - but what’s the worst that could happen? I know that a lot of people don’t like making these kind of calls and prefer emails, but ask yourself - which do you respond to more - emails or phone calls?
Go to networking events and
Talk to people
So often I hear people saying that they go to networking events all the time and nothing comes of them. And do you know what? They’re right! They have this experience because they don’t speak to anyone, they don’t interact and they don’t look for the contact details of others. To be perfectly honest, I can understand this. If you are nervous of going to networking events because you don’t feel comfortable with the idea of asking someone for something - well then don’t ask! Offer! GIVE FIRST. GIVE SECOND. RECEIVE THIRD. If you’re always looking to take from others without offering anything, well then of course you’ll feel uncomfortable, but if you’re ready to offer something that may be of use to the person you’re speaking to, then it’ll be easier to feel better and the person will most likely have a better experience of speaking with you.
'Great! But what can I offer them?!' Businesses ultimately want two things - less problems and/or more money, so if you can help them with either of these, you can be sure that they will appreciate that.
'Fine, but what do I get out of it?'
Have you ever gone to a birthday party of a friend, school-mate or work colleague? Did you invite them to your birthday because they invited you to theirs? Most people say ‘yes’. When someone does something nice for us, we often feel obliged to return the favour somehow, and vice-versa. This is called The Principal of Reciprocity. In other words, if you help them with something, the chances are that they will want to help you in return.
Reach out to contact everyday for 20 days
Get onto your LinkedIn, Facebook and emails to connect with one person everyday. The idea behind this is that you can start to build relationships and reconnect with people who you haven’t spoken to in a while. Firstly, the person themselves may be more than happy put in a good word for you in their company. And secondly, they could be able to introduce you to a good business contact that could give you an opportunity. But don’t be expecting results straight away, this takes time. It’s best to focus on building relationships and offering your support should the person need it. And remember - if you don’t shoot, you don’t score.
Embrace social media and all of it’s powers!
I spoke about contacting the companies directly, meeting more people and reaching out to people in your extended network. On top of that, it’s also important that we connect to the right people who can make decisions and it’s essential that we are able to offer them something of value when the opportunity arises. So identify 10 people that you need to know and aim to reach out to one person everyday. Twitter is a really good tool for this as it’s great for starting a conversation with the people based what they’re interested in.
“But Ronan, I don’t know what company I’d like to work for!”, I hear you say. Well, that’s fine then - how about starting by browsing through the list of the Irish Times' Top 1000 Companies in Ireland to see if you’d like any of those companies? Of course, this list doesn’t take into account personal preferences such as the work culture in these companies, but it will still give you a good place to start.
"Hey Ronan! This is a lot of work!"
Yes…I agree. Finding a job that you will enjoy can be a lot of work. It’s almost like a job in itself. Some people would say your job is to find a job! Others say that the harder you work, the better your chances are for finding work that you enjoy. So is it really worth it? Well, considering that most people work 35+ hours a week for 48 weeks a year, it seems like it should be worth the effort.