Phase 4, Step 14 - Talk With Hiring Managers
Step 14: Put your job search in high gear. It is great to network, do informationals and apply online. But now it is time to get your face in front of decision makers. Experts say that it takes an average of 20-30 meetings with hiring managers to secure a job. Hiring managers are defined as those who have the authority to hire you and be your boss. This doesn’t necessarily mean interviews, but ideally, you will meet with the hiring manager through referrals before a job is ever posted. Then, once a job is posted you will be top in mind.
This step is completed when the majority of your networking contacts have the authority to hire you if there was an opening. A really good sign is when you are being called to interview as soon as the job is posted.
- Have you moved into a phase where you are regularly meeting with professionals in the field or industry where you want to work? (Regular is one to five connections per week.)
- Do these professionals have the authority to hire you should they have an opening?
- Are you feeling comfortable with ‘your story’ as you share it with your connections? If not, try a new version or a few versions on different people.
- Have you carved out a regular timeslot in your week for your job search? Even if it is one hour per week, it is important to have ‘regular time’. Nobody has ‘spare time’. Searching for a job is a lot like exercising, it’s hard at first, but if you make a regular time, it will become fun and payoff big in the long run.
- Do you have a go-to outfit for your networking meetings? It’s nice to have one or two outfits that you know you feel good wearing and can be an easy grab and go when you have early morning meetings. For Beth, it’s a sweater set, slacks, my favorite pumps and pearls. Dressy enough for meeting someone important, but not too formal that it looks like an interview.
- Are you finding enough openings to apply to for which you qualify?
- If you’re finding enough openings and applying, what is the ratio of interviews per application? How can you maximize each application so that your ratio gets better?
- Are you getting phone interviews, but not moving forward in the process? If so, your resume is probably fine, but you might need to refresh your interview skills.
- Are your connections giving you referrals? Are you asking who else you should be talking with? Are you asking for permission to follow up with them?
- Draft a list of 50 companies that you might be interested in. Why 50? Because it is a large enough list that it is likely that there will be openings for which you qualify and are interested. Large companies might be broken down by department into multiple “companies’ for this exercise.
- Draft a list of 100 people that you know, starting with the people who work for those 50 companies and ending with classmates and people who know you well.
- Focus your initial search on finding two people within each company that might be willing to push your resume to a hiring manager should their organization have an opening.
- When you have two per company, step up your game and start connecting with the hiring managers themselves. Simply, ask your connections, “I greatly appreciate your feedback and suggestions. Might you also be able to introduce me to someone at your organization who hires analysts (substitute your position title here)? I’d love to know more about what they look for in candidates”.
- Set a follow-up schedule for the people you meet. Ask for permission, then follow-up every two to three months, thank them again for their advice and give them an update on your job progress as it relates to their advice or forward an article of interest from the Wall Street Journal.
- Utilize LinkedIn heavily. For each position you apply where you do not have a connection, search for someone on LinkedIn and ask for the referral from someone you know.
- Utilize the alumni database. Look for alumni at each firm you are applying to and ask for some time to chat about the organization. Remember, it is about building relationships, so offer your help in return and follow up.
- Buy stacks and stacks of thank you cards. Set aside a time each week to write thank you cards to everyone who did you a favor that week. Guaranteed, this will set you apart from your peers and other applicants.
All students in an active job search:
It is important that you are checking in with your Career Management team regularly (that is your coach and your PCA). Every 2 to 3 weeks is “regular” when you are in an active job search. Checking in might be an appointment, but it could also be just stopping by the office and saying ‘hello’, sending an email or making a phone call. Let us know how your job search is progressing and what we can do to help.
Why this is important:
You are in control of your future career. The proactive decisions you make to meet with hiring managers at your dream companies will help you in a variety of ways. Expressing interest at a company before there is a job posted proves to the employer that you are invested in not only a job, but the company as a whole.