Ok I know what you’re thinking; Betsy has finally gone off her rocker. No not yet. But I will confide that “ Fried Green Tomatoes” is one of my favorite movies and dishes. I love when I get to travel south and imbibe on of my favorite delicacies, Fried Green Tomatoes. However, hard as I try I can’t seem to ever find them as good as my best friend makes, (well actually it’s her husband so credit where credit is due). I always ask how they are made and what they feel is the secret to their delectable delight. The answer inevitably, “the secret’s in the sauce”.
It’s not really all that different when you talk to individuals who’ve had a successful job search. They mixed it up good.
- They reached out to their network of friends, colleagues, connections and let them know what they were looking.
- They carefully targeted the companies and organizations they wanted to work for and reached out to them.
- They used the internet as A tool to source potential job leads and applied online. They then followed up on those applications.
- They attended networking events and career fairs.
- They work with recruiters and/or headhunters to help them find additional opportunities.
- Finally they sent thank you notes to all the hiring managers they interviewed with.
It’s incredibly rare (I mean really really rare) for an individual to send one application, make one phone call or drop off one resume and they get a job. For those rare few that do hit a grand slam on the first swing, they probably were very well connected and sought after in the first place so their success is based on their reputation, which just means they had the connections to engage most if not all of the above, without really trying.
Time after time in conversations with my graduates I hear:
- “I’ve sent out like 30 online applications a day with no luck.”
- My response, “Who have you applied to? Did you follow up with a phone call or note?”
- Their response is usually “no”.
- “Have you reched out to your network, a recruiter or your Career Services department?
- “It’s unlikely you’ll find the career your looking for just by sending out applications like everyone else. You need to mix it up.”
- “I don’t have time to do that”
- “How much time did you spend sending out all those applications.”
- “It took all day.”
- “Try spending at least half that time talking to people>”
- “If I do that how will I get all those applications done?”
They have spent so much of their job seeking time online, sending out applications into the black hole of the internet that they can’t even remember who they’ve applied to or for what positions. Wasted time! That’s like making fried green tomatoes with just cornmeal or flour. It won’t stick and as soon as you put it into the grease it all floats away until you have a mushy mess. You need the egg in the batter and the seasonings; you need to make sure the grease is hot so you get a quick bonding of the mixture to the vegetable. And without the secret sauce, it will just taste like everyone else’s, and you’ll be lost in the unmemorable sea of forgetfulness.
Just like cooking your job search has several ingredients that need to be used in proper proportion. You need to create the environment where your ingredients will be received and you must have a secret sauce, for those who haven’t caught onto the analogy…the sauce is your resume. Your resume is what makes you uniquely you, it’s what helps you stand out from the sea of other applicants. It’s what makes you memorable and keeps your customers coming back for more.
Mix your ingredients carefully, the majority should be made up of actual interpersonal contact; your network, your phone calls, dropping off your resume in person, your follow up. Too many folks use the internet as the base of their recipe; and just like using too much salt, the flavor of your batter will be ruined and you’ll have to start all over again.
For more interviewing tips, resume writing help, job search and career advice come back again to; “Connectthedotblog”.