Increase your chances of getting that job interview

August 21, 2009

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Liz Ryan from Business Week's "The Workplace" column has an insightful post for those who've wondered why sending in your resume doesn't necessarily get you that job interview. Liz outlines six different ways you can increase those chances of landing a job interview after you've sent in your resume.

Start with LinkedIn to see whether one of your first-degree connections is connected to a relevant person (someone who works in the department where there's an opening, a peer in another department, or best of all, the hiring manager) in the hiring department. If you do have a two- or three-step relationship to that inside person, ask your first-degree connection to make an introduction for you. (You can do this by clicking on the "Get Introduced Through a Connection" link on your "target" person's profile page.)

The easiest way to get started would be on LinkedIn's "Advanced Search" page, where you can search through specific keywords to locate the right contact at the hiring company.

Tips #2 and #3 in the post explains how important it is to do your homework about the company or industry when looking for a job. LinkedIn Company Profiles lets you browse and research companies or even industries that you'd like to work for. Clicking through a company profile shows you current or former employees from that company who you're currently connected with and can pass your resume to the right folks within the company. For example: check out LinkedIn's Company Profile.

As Liz summarized, finding a job interview is more a direct result of your attempts to find contacts at that company who can put in a good word for you, and less about how great your resume is.

There is an element of luck in getting an interview, but you can do more than toss a résumé into the hopper and wait for a phone call. You can work assiduously to find contacts who can put in a good word for you, make introductions for you, and fill you in on the issues that are top-of-mind for the employer you're targeting. When you spot a job you know you'd love and would thrive at, don't hesitate to call on your network to help make it happen. That's what your network is there for!

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