How do you get a job without connections?
How do you get a job without connections? Perhaps you spent your entire school career so focused on grades that you have a network of close to zero. Perhaps you’re a new comer and have a network back home, but in your new home, you network is non-existent. Not an ideal situation but recoverable. I preach that career success if a combination of both results (what you’ve done) and relationships (who you know). So the answer to getting a job without connections ISN’T to frantically apply online, the answer is apply online while building connections over time. It won’t be overnight, but moving forward is better than not getting anywhere. So where do start? I recommend a multi-pronged approach to the job hunt which is a combination of apply online, find a recruiter, build your network.
In my opinion, applying is probably the job hunt method with the least probability of success. But perhaps you have great previous experience so let’s not rule it out. For your job hunt, I would recommend no more than half of your time be spent on online applications. Make sure you have a great resume that is tailored and reverse engineered for the role.
If you’re getting interviews for at least 1 in 10 jobs applied, then your resume is probably okay. If you’re less than that ratio, then there’s definitely something wrong, so you’ll want to get a second opinion on your resume (reach out to us here firstname.lastname@example.org if that’s you). Perhaps you’ll get lucky and get interviews and an offer, but like I said, the probability isn’t great, so I’d spend less time than other activities.
Find a Recruiter
A recruiter can be a second prong in your job hunt and more importantly more capacity for the job hunt. Some jobs are only exclusively available through recruiters so you get access to that job market. They are experienced professionals but always know that their job is to fill a role, not to find you the job of your dreams. Still, you might as well have someone searching on your behalf since you can only spend max 24hrs per day (hopefully just 16 as sleep is important).
You should only have 1 recruiter although if you have multiple role specializations, then perhaps you could have multiple. Keep in mind that there are great recruiters out there, and there are ones that focus solely on placing roles. Do your due diligence and find one that suits you.
Build Your Network
Just because you don’t have connection now, doesn’t mean it has to or should stay that way. Your network could be from:
- Associations and organizations
You’ll want to spend more than half of your time on building your network. Create some goals like reach out to 10 people for each hour you are job hunting. Aim to have coffee/lunch/drinks with 1-3 people every week (ideally every day). Attend 1-2 meet ups per month (week if you can manage). Volunteer every week.
And be prepared for a lot of no-answers, and even rejections. Also make sure to take the time to reflect and learn to improve your networking ability. Networking is a skill that can be improved like many others.
Check out some of the networking posts on how to network and make sure you’re adding value in the networking relationship.
So if you want to get a job without connections, follow these steps. The steps are not hard, but they aren’t easy either. But you can do it!
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