Finding a new job is tough on so many levels. Firstly the painstaking decision of leaving your current employer (or the pain of losing your job and dealing with unemployment), then the resume preparation, the applications, the interviews and frustrations of rejections, missing phone calls and lack of feedback.
How many hours does it take? Too many. And how much effort is required? Too much.
Here’s an idea for a simple reversal of the process, which might cut dozens of hours and a lot of energy from the search.
The typical resume has 2 or 3 carefully chosen referees. Once you finally get through the multiple interviews, the employer gets to the reference checking stage and you call your referees to tell them to expect a call.
I see this as a waste of the potential within your referees. These people are the ones who know you well, they know your skills, your experience and your positives. Everyone has a network of people they interact with, so there’s a chance that your referee can find your next job.
So here’s what you do: call your referee, or meet them for a coffee, and tell them all the great things you’re hoping for in in your next job. It’s the same conversation you’d have with them, you’re just having it at the start of the process, not the end of the process.
Firstly, this gets you to the many jobs that are unadvertised, the ‘word of mouth’ jobs. And secondly, if someone is talking about how good you are to your potential employer, before you’ve even met them, how favourable will their perception be of you? The third party referral is an incredibly powerful tool.
Next, why limit yourself to 2 or 3 referees? Call 10 people that could be referees, so now you have 10 people on the lookout for your next job. Your network is in action, with a good chance your next job will come to you, and you haven’t even written your resume yet.
Lastly, when someone tells you about the job opportunity you should apply for, make sure that person is a reference on the resume you submit. The existing relationship between your referee and your employer will give you a strong advantage.