6 Powerful Insights on How to Go Above & Beyond to Land the Job of Your Dreams
By LaShina Mack
Are you doing what it takes to become gainfully employed or are you giving your bare minimum? Some might say, ‘Hey, I applied for 20 jobs this week!’ Sorry to inform you but that number is embarrassingly low. Applying for 20 jobs a day is much more respectable. Yes, you might say there are not that many jobs in your field to apply for 20 jobs per day. While there is that slim possibility, in most cases, that is unlikely.
There are more jobs out there than most people think. You just have to broaden your horizons and expand your possibilities. Some fields such as insurance, warehouse and distribution, or customer service give you no excuse to apply for any less than 20 jobs per day. One big exception might be your geographical area. That is somewhat out of your control to a certain degree. You still have options. Here are 6 ways to open yourself up to more opportunities.
Sometimes people live so far away from civilization, it is tough to find any type of a job. So if a commute is possible, do it. I once commuted up to 3 hours round-trip for work. Sometimes you do what you have to. It was a good job and I don't regret it. I had a small car and my other expenses were minimal. Plus, it didn't hurt that the job paid well. So if you are able to and the numbers make sense, commute if necessary.
2. Other industries or categories.
Don't limit your skills. You might need to expand your horizons. There are opportunities in other industries that you think may not exist. For example, you might be an insurance agent that sells only life insurance. And you are having trouble finding a position at a life insurance company. Look outside of life insurance companies. Look at other insurance companies. Look at other positions. There may be positions available for health insurance agents or Property and Casualty agents. More often than not, if you are already a licensed agent, the company is willing to reimburse you for obtaining additional licensing. You might even enjoy working as an adjuster or an underwriter. It will certainly expand your knowledge base on another side of insurance. Keep your options open.
Another example is the customer service field. Sometimes customer service reps only focus on call centers or banks for employment opportunities. But there are so many other opportunities outside of those categories. Most companies need customer service reps and just because they are not in a call center environment, does not mean that the opportunities are not there. So step outside of that call center mindset, and see what else is out there. Warehouses hire for customer service as well as retail stores, car dealerships, hospitals, movie theaters, insurance agencies, and many others. Don't put yourself in a box. Look for any and every opportunity.
3. Job Search Websites.
Do you use them? Which ones? If you are just applying for one job here or there by going to a company's website directly, that is not gonna do it. You have to exhaust every avenue. Yes go directly to company websites AND go to job search websites. You are probably familiar with the more popular ones:
- and LinkedIn.
There are many others such as ZipRecruiter, Simply Hired, The Ladders, Glassdoor, Job.com, Snag-a-job.com, Idealist.org, and some that might seem out of the ordinary such as Craigslist, Facebook, and eBay Classifieds. There are many more not listed here but you get the idea. Don't limit yourself to just the popular few. Really put yourself out there.
4. Employment Agencies.
Take some of the load off of yourself during your job search and get registered. This is not an alternative to the other methods but it is in addition to. The availability of employment agencies depends on your geographical area. The ones I am most familiar with are Kelly Services, AppleOne, Aerotek, Manpower, Adecco Staffing, Remedy Intelligent Staffing, Tempforce, Randstad, Spherion, TRC Staffing, and many others. Regardless of which ones you choose, check their offerings online to make sure they don't overlap then pick the ones that offer availability in the job areas you are searching for. If nothing is available, register anyway as something might later become available.
Answer all phone calls. While it is tempting to assume 800 numbers and unknown callers are telemarketers or bill collectors, don't dodge your calls. Answer EVERY call. You don't know where those recruiters are calling from. Also be aware that recruiters are extremely hard to get a hold of once you miss them. So getting them on the first try when they reach out is ideal. Also update your voicemail greeting to let callers know when the best times are to reach you. So if you do miss some calls, you are more likely to get a call back because they will know exactly when to call you back. Competition is stiff; make it easy for recruiters, not harder.
Do you track every job you apply for? Do you put them on a spreadsheet or just refer back to the confirmation emails you were sent? Spreadsheet tracking is a great way to keep track of the jobs you applied for. You can date them, name them, categorize them, flag them, and check them off. Now some people are not fond of Excel spreadsheets but another option is to set up folders in your inbox. You can create folders and label them based on the status of the position such as Applied, Pending Interview, Interviewed, Follow Up, and Offers. There is no perfect way to do this as long as you just do it. Keeping track of your job application statuses help you better prepare for the next step.
6. Following up.
The fortune is in the follow up. How often do you follow up with the hiring manager after you interview?
- Or Always
If your answer is not Always, you are doing it wrong. At the end of every interview, if you do not already have it, get the recruiter or hiring manager’s contact info. That way, you can send a thank you email to the interviewer for meeting with you, highlight what you enjoyed learning in the interview, and remind them how they can reach you. Do this EVERY time. This is not really just a thank you, it's a follow up as well as a way to keep you fresh in their minds. This is part of the job search process. Why? Because if you don't get the job, you will still be searching so you have to do everything you can by going above and beyond. Is it OK to follow up again? Yes, yes, and yes.
If the hiring manager told you a set time frame they need to review other applicants and that time has passed, reach out again. This time it really is just a follow up. Don't sugarcoat it. Tell them you are following up. A follow up email won't hurt you, it will only help you. It just helps you know what you need to know faster so you can either prepare for your new job or keep it moving to the next opportunity.
Give these six methods a try and see how your results improve. Invest in yourself and make the effort to put in that sweat equity to get the results you are looking for. You believe you're worth it, right? Prove it.
About the Author
LaShina Mack is the Founder of Resume Renewed and Premier Marketing Experts, LLC. She specializes in marketing, brand management, and career development services. In the corporate world, she has a diverse background working for reputable Fortune 500 organizations in the areas of retail, customer service, B2B, and government accounts. LaShina had been writing resumes as a freelancer for 15+ years prior to her company's launch in 2016. She has strong background in content development, online marketing, resume writing, creative design, campaign management, business consulting, and client acquisition. Feel free to follow or reach out to LaShina on Instagram or LinkedIn.