Your Inside Connection to Your Next Executive Job

Your Inside Connection to Your Next Executive Job

What do you think the key to savvy executive job search is? Could it be your resume, your interview, or your LinkedIn profile? The answer might surprise you. The key to your executive job search is your recommendation by a current employee of the company you are targeting.

Connections Inside the Company Give You the Advantage

Ask an influential current employee of your target company to recommend you to the hiring executive.

Ask an influential current employee of your target company to recommend you to the hiring executive.

The inside connection will make or break your executive job search. In fact, if you do not have an advocate from inside the company, you might as well not apply for the position at all, said leading recruiting expert Gerry Crispin, at Career Thought Leaders Conference 2014. Crispin suggested that the resume gets you only so far in the applicant tracking system, because hiring executives do not want to make choices among the hundreds to thousands of resumes they receive for each open role

How the Referral Process Works

Let us examine Crispin’s scenario, in which he used some realistic figures. Let us say that a position is posted, and the applicant tracking system, or web application site, receives 150 resumes. Automatically, we can assume that half of those are not qualified for the role.

As an aside, recruiters regularly lament the fact that they receive resumes all the time from candidates who match only some of the qualifications. The moral of this story is that executives need to read the job description carefully to make sure they fit all of the qualifications and requirements for the role. Remember, the interview is about fit, not about qualifications, so do not be lulled into a false sense of security by the idea that you are smart (you are), experienced (you have years), and a quick learner (that is not a qualification for anything). You need to demonstrate right from the start that you have experience in all facets of the role.

So of our 150 applicants, 75 are not qualified, and 75 are. At the same time that resumes are rolling in through the online application system, five smart executives have been making connections within the company, and they each have been speaking to influential employees. These five current employees have passed these five resumes to the executive decision maker. Now, all bets are off for the 75, because the same half of these recommended candidates are also employed (let us say 2 of the 5).

The applicant tracking system and the internal recruiter choose the top several of the resumes that come through the online job site; however, the executive receiving referrals from trusted employees pushes the two resumes he or she received to the top of the list. Thus, the former five top resumes that came in through the system are now three, because the two from referrals edged out the bottom two from the original list.

Why Recommendations Matter for Your Executive Job Search and What You Need to Do

There is no question but that referrals and recommendations from existing employees truly count. Those qualified candidates from the list of referrals now have a 20% chance of receiving an offer, which far outpaces the 1 in 75 of fundamentally qualified candidates. The math prevails, and referrals now truly count.

You can become one of the top five by engaging in a concentrated networking strategy that makes you into a name with a face, qualifications, personality, and experience. By creating trustworthy connections within your targeted company list, you can increase your chances of being selected for an executive role from 1/150 to 1/5.

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