How to get a job
5 steps that will help you every time.
By Jacquie Liversidge
How to get a job in 5 steps
(even if your application wasn’t very good)
We’re hiring at the moment of writing this article, and you know what’s lacking in almost all of the job applications?
Initiative. Where is the drive for this role?
None of our applicants are following the directions correctly which means I’m filtering through my spam emails looking for lost and forgotten applications.
I’m having to work harder already.
And despite some applications outlining how much this job would mean to them, no one has called me.
I want to be hassled by the right candidate.
I want them to pursue this job.
So when I open up a broad, generic application poorly targeted with directions that are hardly, if at all followed for what is a creative writing role, my first thought is: nup.
I don’t care how good you might be, you don’t really even want to be here.
Why should I put in the effort for you, when you won’t for me?
I’m only too aware that we are not all careers professionals, so reader, if you’ are thinking about applying for a job with us, or anyone out there, read this article. This article is going to teach you how to submit your application and then get to interview, even if your job application material isn’t that great.
“I want to be hassled by the right candidate.
I want them to pursue this job.”
Step 1: Call them.
I have in my hands at this moment a generic resume of a “passionate”, “driven” applicant. But where is the phone call? Or a follow up email? How could they possibly be this driven?
Show them your determination and passion by calling. Not sure what to say when you call? Read this: Questions to ask
Step 2: Give them something.
You know what’s really valuable to organisations of any size? Social media likes and newsletter subscriptions. Did you know that a newsletter subscription is actually a business asset? Jump on their social media pages and like the page, get on their website and get involved in what they’re doing.
With social media pages, you never know who is managing the page. In a smaller or family business, it’s likely to be linked to the personal account of someone important in making hiring decisions. And it gives you a potential talking point in an interview or conversation. Eg. “I saw on _____ Facebook page that you’ve just partnered with X Recruitment. It looks like an exciting time!”.
Step 3: Show that you want to know them.
This writer has an irrational hate of LinkedIn, but annoyingly for me, it is actually a useful too and therefore I must use it too. Find the names of senior management and hiring managers on the company website and add them on LinkedIn. They get a notification with your name on it, and when they see your application, they will remember that you have added them. They’ve now seen your name twice. And that’s already better than the other candidates who haven’t done this.
Step 4: Follow up.
So you have applied for the job and followed the directions for the job application. It’s been a week or two, and you haven’t heard anything back.
And if you are not the candidate going to be shortlisted, you might not ever hear back.
You can still nudge your resume to the top of your pile by calling and outlining your passion for the role. They’re still considering? Great, ask when you can call back. You’ve not been considered? Ask why. All of a sudden your name is in their head, and they’re wondering what they might have missed out on.
Step 5: Drop off a paper copy (as well as your online application).
It’s old-school, but it works.
Print off your application and march yourself in there. Ask to speak to the manager and let them know that you’ve applied online but that you just wanted to touch base in person and drop off the application.
What this demonstrates:
- Initiative: you are working hard for this and you are working creatively. You can almost trust that no one else is doing what you’re doing by following these steps.
- Passion: you’ve applied, and maybe you didn’t hit the mark. But you’ve thought about the role since you applied. You’ve pursued it.
- Courage: it’s scary to follow up and initiate contact, and even managers and hiring managers know that. But you’ve gone out of your comfort zone to pursue this role, or feedback, for your own betterment.
- Determination: Your employer has likely worked through challenges and resistance to get where they are. You’re hot on their tail, you are actively chasing an opportunity. And that is the very nature of business.
- Loyalty: you’re demonstrating loyalty to this employer by coming to them with an understanding of what they do and a commitment to work for them. You are excited to work for them. They want to catch that excitement that you have and show it to their customers and clients, because they think their business is great and you do too.
A few years ago, I approached a recruitment agency I desperately wanted work from. I’d just arrived back in Australia from France, and I was desperate for absolutely any work. I hassled the absolute s*!?t out of them. I called, I booked appointments with them, I dropped in, I emailed.
What I said by doing this was, “look at me right here, well-presented, ready to go right now with you”.
Rather then get some work from the recruitment agency with one of their clients, the recruitment agency asked me to apply for a job working with them. I have the added bonus of being able to develop excellent material for myself, but that comprised only the smallest part of the entire application.
These attributes I’ve listed are amongst the most important things that you can bring to a role. Everything can be learnt, but initiative, passion, courage, determination and loyalty require no tertiary education or qualification.
I’m more likely to hire someone who can demonstrate these that can’t even write.
For a writing role.
And it might seem scary, but you already don’t have the job.
What do you have to lose?