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  • Writer's pictureBen Lewis

Prospecting your way into landing a new job: Taking the sales approach

A large portion of the candidates I speak with on a weekly basis are highly discouraged by the sheer volume of applicants they see on each LinkedIn job listing they look at. I’ve posted a few times about how to stand out from this massive influx in order to get noticed by hiring managers, and every one of those posts has been in regards to the product rather than the process. That is, what to put in your resume and LinkedIn profile to either hack the system or elevate the perceived quality of your CV versus other applicants.

However, the actions taken during the job application process are just as important. In my experience, it makes a huge difference for candidates to take a sales prospecting approach to the way they apply for a job. What I mean by this is: get the right message noticed by the right people across as many channels as possible. You’d be shocked by how few applicants to roles I’ve posted over the years have ever taken the time to send me a thoughtful note on LinkedIn. It’s certainly less than 2-3%. Several of those people who took that extra step ended up getting offers from clients of mine, as they stood out versus the 400+ other applicants I received in just a few days following posting a role.

When applying for a role, I’d highly recommend first getting a LinkedIn premium account. That’s not a paid endorsement on my end. The ability to send long-form cold InMails to hiring managers you aren’t connected with to give a proper pitch on what you can do for them is absolutely crucial. Next, when applying for the role always apply both on LinkedIn as well as on the company’s website if they have a careers page. Once you’ve knocked those steps out, message the job poster which will often be a recruiter rather than the hiring manager. Next, do some research on LinkedIn to find the person who this role will most likely report to. Send them a message as well.

Regarding these messages: Give a quick intro on yourself, why this specific company stands out to you, and what you feel you’ll specifically be able to bring to this role and company. “I’m excellent at front-end engineering and client communication” is not specific. “I’ve spent the last five years in front-end engineering roles primarily specializing in React, including frequent direct interaction with client-side engineering stakeholders” is specific. Round out that message with a brief breakdown on accolades, performance metrics, and any other highlights you’d like to give.

The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

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