Searching for a job has to be one of the most thankless and soul-destroying tasks around. You spend so much time editing your resume, writing cover letters, searching job boards and reading job descriptions and then you hear nothing but crickets. All those jobs you thought you were perfect for clearly didn’t think the same about you. It’s an exhausting experience. That’s why I wanted to share a few things that have helped me find jobs at kick-ass companies.
When I was searching for my current job (VP of Marketing for a $3 billion healthcare staffing firm), I knew I didn’t want just any old job. I wanted to work an amazing company – one that had incredible benefits, great pay, a fun company culture and smart colleagues. I wanted a job that was going to be interesting and exciting, that would continue to challenge me and help me grow.
I knew these jobs were hard to come by and rarely advertised, so I came up with a new way to job search. Instead of endlessly scrolling on Indeed in the hopes something good might turn up, I got proactive with my search. Here’s what I did and what you should try too:
- Go to Google and type in “Best places to work in [your desired city].”
Most cities have a number of “Best Of” lists that come out annually. They’re usually issued by the local newspaper, business journal and city magazine. Find the lists from the last couple of years and go through every company listed. Read their blurbs, go to their websites, learn more about them.
- See which companies look interesting to you.
From those “Best Of” lists, find the companies that pique your interest and seem exciting to you. Obviously, not all will be a good fit. That’s ok. Find a few that fire you up and start digging around on their websites.
Go to their corporate careers pages and see if they have any open jobs that suit you. If so, apply. If not, no worries, keep reading for how to approach them about potential future openings.
- Email the CEO directly.
A quick Google search should help you find the CEO’s name for any company on the list. Dig around and see if you can find their email address or the email structure for the company. Once you figure that out, you can copy the structure to email them.
If you’re struggling to find their email, you can always call reception and say that you’re trying to email [insert name] and their email keeps getting bounced back. Ask them if they can confirm their email address. This usually works.
Once you have their correct address, email them directly using this cover letter along with your resume. Here’s why: CEOs are busy people. Depending on the size of the company, they likely won’t take much time to look at your resume. However, if they like your cover letter or what they see of your resume, they’ll forward it on to their HR people. Considering recruiters see tons of applications every day, if the CEO sends them someone directly, you better believe they’ll follow up with that candidate. It’s your jump to the front of the line.
- Create your resume using a Canva template.
Make sure your resume looks good. Thankfully you no longer need to be a graphic designer to have a slick resume. Just go to Canva and pick any one of the free resume templates they offer. Plug in your information and change the colors or fonts to suit your taste.
Whatever you do, do not just send in a plain white word doc with your information on it. Take the time to use a template and stand out from the sea of bland resumes. And please, for the love of God, have someone proof it. A typo on your resume is a death sentence. I know that sounds dramatic, but it’s true.
- Follow up every week for 4 weeks.
We all know that the squeaky wheel gets the oil. If you feel strongly enough about the company and that you would be a perfect fit, not just because the company sounds cool and you want the free lunches, but because you think you can actually add value as an employee, then stay on them.
Follow up every week for 4 weeks and see what happens. More often than not, you’ll hear from them during that time.
This method worked for me and I know it will help you too. Obviously you need to have some qualifications and will need to sell yourself once you get a response, but these steps should help you get your foot in the door with some awesome companies.
I’m always here to help and would love to hear about your successes. Please keep me posted so I can cheer you on. Leave a comment or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Best of luck in your job search. You’ve got this!