Waiting is not a Strategy
Most of you are waiting for someone to find your LinkedIn profile or on a:
- Job to be posted
- Recruiter to respond after submitting your resume to a job posting
- Recruiter to respond after a phone screen
- Hiring manager after an interview
I know, I know you don’t want to be a pest or appear too forward. Well…be a pest. Be a polite pest – but be a pest. Pursue what you want.
Most importantly…STOP WAITING!
Note: This post was originally published in 2015, updated in June of 2018, and updated again in August of 2020.
Waiting for a Position to be Posted
Approximately 80 percent of positions are never posted.
So why are you waiting?
The days of thinking you are going to get a job by applying online are over for most of us in the 2nd half of life. If you were 20 years younger and looking at junior positions, then maybe applying online might work.
The hiring process at many companies is broken. You will want to check out my post 5 Things You Will Never Know About the Hiring Process. Your belief that that the system is fair and equitable is very outdated.
Your next job will come through a relationship. Go work your network, work your network, and then … work your network some more.
Your network has never been more important to you than today.
Use the Targeted Job Search approach by targeting companies and quit chasing “the job.”
Build a list of companies that are capable of hiring you. Use LinkedIn advanced search to find companies that hire people with skills like yours. Approach potential peers and hiring managers, telling them about the problems you solve.
Stop waiting for a position to be posted!
Waiting is not a job search strategy!
Waiting to hear from Someone after Submitting Your Resume
Immediately, seek out a company contact if you see a position posted or hear about a job through your network as a huge percentage of positions are filled through referrals. Do not wait and find a referral first!
At the same time, very aggressively, reach out to recruiters or HR professionals in the company to find out who is hiring for the position. Your goal will be to have a discussion with the hiring manager.
Waiting is not a job search strategy.
The strategy of my fellow Launch Pad Job Club board member, Jim Adcock, was to reach out to recruiters and ask, “I wanted to make sure you received my resume. The sexual nature of my last name sometimes causes my resume to get caught in SPAM filters.”
Yes, this strategy works!
Waiting for a Response after a Phone Screen with a Recruiter
It is very common for recruiters to have up to 60 positions to fill at any one time. Call the recruiter 24 hours after the initial phone screen. Be courteous but persistent. You want to stay at the top of their mind.
Be a pest, a polite pest but a pest none the least.
The important point here is to call them. Leave them a voicemail if they do not answer.
I know, I know you sent them an email and you have not heard back. When people are getting hundreds of emails every day, it just makes sense to call the recruiter and be persistent. If you do not hear back, call them again in a day or so. Do not wait a week to call them back. Be persistent.
Waiting is not a job search strategy!
Waiting for a Response After an Interview
Make sure and get contact information from everyone you interview with. Ask for their contact information at the beginning of every interview. If they decide you are not the right candidate during the interview, they may not offer you their contact information at the end.
Note: I originally wrote to ask for a business card but I suspect the days of in-person interviews are a thing of the past. Once everyone is comfortable with doing video interviews, in-person interviews will be reserved for the final candidates.
Similar to waiting for a response after a phone screen, you want to follow up quickly and be persistent.
If you do not hear from them after several weeks, use the Take-Away Closing Technique by calling the hiring manager and leaving them the following message:
I am presuming that you are no longer interested in me for the XYZ position. If you have not found your ideal candidate, I would be happy to recommend someone else for the position. Let me know if I can be of any help to you in filling this position.
If the hiring manager is still interested in you, they will reach out to you quickly. Earlier in my career, if I wanted someone to call me back, I would leave the following message:
Hey Larry, could you call me back about the planned gold shipment.
Larry would usually call me back because he wanted to know about this supposed gold shipment…which was fictitious.
Be Persistent and Quit Waiting
The idea for this blog post came from a presentation by Gary O’Neal, who presented at Launch Pad Job Club.
You may want to listen to my interview with Gary on the Repurpose Your Career Podcast called Gary O’Neal on Looking for a Job in the 2nd Half of Life [Podcast] where Gary talks about how he would approach a job search. He would not be waiting but rather would be proactive.
Gary made it very clear that recruiters and hiring managers would like to respond to every applicant. The reality is that they have way too much on their plate. For every job posted, on average, there are 180 applicants.
The hiring process is broken at oh so many companies. Technology has made it way too easy to post and apply for positions that there is a glut of information that clogs up the system.
Stop Waiting and Start Your Own Business
We are living in an age where many of you will be pushed into an unplanned early retirement. That does not mean that you should quit working. You may have to wait until this pandemic and find a lifeboat job to tide you over. This is a new term that was recently introduced to me. If we want to recover from this pandemic we just might have to fill the lifeboats by taking what I have always referred to as survival jobs.
This is a great time to start your own business. The only person you can depend on for your career is you. If you need to keep working, quit waiting, and take control of the future. This might be building a portfolio of part-time jobs, a collection of gigs, or starting a consulting business.
The only person you can depend on for your career is you. Now is the time to take control.
If you want to continue to work and make a living in the 2nd half of life, you need to quit waiting and take action.
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