Would you buy a car based only on what the sticker says? Or exclusively on what the salesperson tells you?
Probably not. Before you made the offer, you would take into consideration everything important to you. Is it roomy enough… does it “fit” you? Does it have the features you want? Is it reliable? Has it needed a lot of maintenance, or had any major accidents? You would go online to look for independent reviews of the model. Finally, you’d ask your friends and colleagues for their opinions.
You wouldn’t even think of buying a car any other way.
And for recruiters trying to find the right person to fill a job opening… the process of selecting the best candidate works the exact same way. There is a wish list. The need to make sure the fit is right. A quick judgment on whether the candidate is high-maintenance or not. An online reference check. And so much more.
And yet job seekers seem to think recruiters make decisions solely on what your “sticker”(the resume) says. Wrong! You gotta’ give the potential buyer much more to go on than that…
You need to take employers for a test drive!
And during that drive, you better convince them that you’re worthy of an offer. Here’s how:
Let Them Look Under the Hood
Build or update and maintain your LinkedIn profile. Recruiters will read this and get a sense of who you are. Join LinkedIn groups related to your area of interest. Consistently make intelligent, articulate comments on others’ posts and contribute to conversations. As you’ve likely heard many times before (but worth saying again, as most people don’t), Google yourself to see what employers might see. If you find negative results, consider using a tool like BrandYourself to minimize the damage.
Build a Likeable Online Reputation
In addition to LinkedIn, build a solid personal brand on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. Regularly post interesting industry-related information, follow (and get followed) by influencers in your chosen industry. At all times, be personable and professional! Any troll-like comments or diva moments defeats your purpose, and harms your brand. Above all else: be perceived as “likeable.”
Well-written and sincere testimonials that talk directly to your professionalism, results and character – especially those on your LinkedIn profile – are a key to the recruiter that you are more than just who you say you are. People that know you well also appreciated your contributions. Nurture your relationships to the point that person is willing to write a testimonial – and gain instant online credibility with employers.
Establish Good Word of Mouth
Network your a** off! Surveys consistently show most job seekers get hired through a referral from a current employee. When recruiters know a person who refers you, they are aware that person has their own professional reputation at stake. This gives the recruiter a solid indication that you are be worth a face-to-face interview. Employers also love referrals because data shows that person will most likely be a far more productive employee and stay with the company longer. Your job: build your word of mouth credibility, and become an enthusiastic referral.
Make Sure You’re Selling to the Buyer’s Preferences
Tailor everything you write, say and do to the employers “wish list”. Demonstrate to the hiring manager how you will solve their specific problems. Don’t just tell… show your value with quantified information that makes it clear to the buyer that you can more than do the job. At the same time, focus on what values and soft skills are important… are you also a good “fit”?
Recruiters rarely buy before they try. They need to be sure their investment pays off, and they aren’t buying a lemon they’ll regret. They need a test drive.
Once your shiny personality has caught their attention, you only have one job: Give ‘em a good ride!