Informational interviewing is one way for job seekers to gather first-hand knowledge about potential employers while establishing rapport with contacts at those organizations that may be able to help with a search. Steve Dalton, in “The 2-hour Job Search” suggests thinking of yourself as an “information seeker” while the person you want to interview is an “information keeper.” This approach will help you concentrate on gathering data instead of putting the person you are speaking with on the spot by asking for a job.
Ever been surprised when a friend announces a new job and you didn’t even know they were looking? You can use networking when you’re quietly searching for a new position. However, be aware that the more people who know you’re looking for a new job, the more likely your current employer is to find out about it.
Research consistently identifies networking as an important job search tool — anywhere from 40-80% of job placements are attributed to networking. Networking can also be a way to identify unadvertised job opportunities — accessing the “hidden job market.” The “hidden” job market refers to positions that are filled through employee referrals, recruiters, or direct contact with hiring managers through their network of industry or professional contacts.
Many resumes I receive describe the tasks the job seekers performed at each of their jobs. A more powerful way to discuss your work is to focus on what you accomplished at each job.
Accomplishment-based resumes have been widely accepted for more than 20 years, so many job seekers are using this approach. The resume or LinkedIn profile may still not be persuasive enough for today’s job market. Results have to be emphasized.
Some hiring teams do rely on cover letters, often called job search letters, to help them differentiate job candidates, although estimates on the percentage of managers that read letters vary. A recruiter that did a survey and posted the results online stated that 69% of her respondents read letters. Other estimates are lower.