Did you know that referrals are still the ideal method for recruiting and hiring new employees? When an employee refers a new hire, the company saves money in advertising the job and often in screening the candidate. The benefit to the new hire is gaining employment with a reputable company that was praised by your friend or colleague.
After all, would your friend or colleague recommend that you apply for a horrible job with a dissatisfactory company? Not likely.
Referrals are an effective way to accelerate your job search by ultimately delivering a great job to you with minimal effort on your part. The lowest-effort approaches to getting referred can occur today, in your home, and without getting out of bed (well, most of them...). Start with these 10 ways to land a referral to your dream job.
Take Advantage of Facebook:
1. Update Your Facebook Details & Privacy Settings
Since referrals come primarily through networking, take advantage of the most popular online networking platform: Facebook. Start by updating your profile including your About Me section (which can highlight your skills and express your desire to find a new and better job!) and adding your Work History.
Then make sure these details are visible to any corporate recruiter or hiring manager who may find your profile. You should adjust your privacy settings to display information that is common for a resume or job application but to hide any discriminatory information. You should also make sure most photos and interests are visible to Friends Only.
2. Use Your Facebook Status To Announce Your Job Search
Next, update your status to inform your Friends that you are on the job hunt. Don't just complain about your current situation, but be specific about what you're looking for. This is important or else you may end up in another less than desirable situation.
Your status update should describe what you value in an employer and what strengths you want to play to in your new job. If you were in customer service and want to try sales, you could post something like this:
"After 5 years in customer service, I'm ready to start a career in sales. I'm great at assessing a customer's needs and building relationships with customers. Anyone know of a great job opening in sales, hit me up!"
3. Treat Facebook Live Like A Video Resume
Make a bold move and stream a Facebook Live video to serve as a video resume. Facebook Live videos attract the most views, so this tactic will get you in front of the most Friends at one time. The key with video resumes is to be professional. You want to communicate clearly who you are, what unique value you offer to an employer, and how to contact you.
Since you're streaming live, you won't be able to edit your video. This will work for you if you are genuine, but it could work against you. Come up with a brief outline and practice what you're going to say. You can also practice by recording a video using your camera phone and evaluating your camera presence before to going live.
4. Join Local Facebook Groups For Job Announcements
Who says you have to know the person who refers you? There are TONS of Facebook Groups for local jobs. Just search for "Your City" Jobs, and start joining the Groups that appear.
Be smart about how you apply to jobs. If you are asked directly for your resume, make sure you remove your street address and only list your city/state location. The safest scenario is being directed to a legitimate company website to apply via their Jobs/Careers portal.
5. Create (Or Revamp!) Your LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn is designed for referrals. This social platform is a great networking tool for job seekers, but the first step to using LinkedIn is having a polished profile. Your profile should be consistent with your resume and tell your story in a way that shows the value you have to offer.
Completely fill out your LinkedIn profile with a keyword-optimized Headline, Summary, and Experience section. Add a professional photo. List at least 10-15 skills to encourage endorsements. Finally, make sure your most important details are visible to the public.
6. Focus On Valuable Connections
With a fully optimized LinkedIn profile, start finding people you know to connect with. You should start by connecting with family members, friends, family friends, co-workers, and classmates. These connections can really help you boost your profile.
While the goal of LinkedIn is not to necessarily have the most connections but to have valuable connections, your 1st connections will present more 2nd connections. Valuable connections will help you connect with potential employers by referring you and introducing you to their connections.
7. Follow & Engage With Your Ideal Company Pages
Get in front of your ideal employer by finding their Company Page, following it, and interacting with their posts. Like and comment on their Company Page updates to show your interest in what is new with the company.
You can also find current employees and connect with them. This is a great way to work towards a referral. You can send a Personalized Invite for a connection request and ask questions about working for the company. Your Personalized Invite could look something like this:
I see that you've worked for Acme Inc. for over 10 years in the sales department, and I'm very interested in applying for the next available Sales Coordinator position. Would you be willing to connect with me and tell me a bit about your experience working for Acme?
Does the company offer many opportunities for advancement or sales training?
8. Ask For Endorsements, Recommendations, and Introductions
Once you've gained some valuable connections, take the initiative to ask for their help. Send a private message to a handful of connections to inform them that you are working on boosting your profile and would appreciate if they would endorse your skills in X, Y, and Z. Be specific. Your goal should be to have the skills that are most relevant to your career goals endorsed the most.
Feeling bold? Ask co-workers or classmates who are familiar with your work ethic and skills to write a recommendation for your profile. Again, be specific. Your message requesting a recommendation could look like this:
I've been working on boosting my LinkedIn profile, and I could use your help. Would you be willing to write a short recommendation that I can link to my profile?
I'm targeting entry-level accounting or financial analysis positions, so I want my profile to highlight those skills. You and I worked well together on that group project in Cash Flow Management II, and I'd really appreciate if you would share your experience working with me on the financial analysis portion of the project.
9. Join Professional Associations & Local Networking Groups
With your Facebook and LinkedIn accounts working for you in the backgrounds, you can just stop there and wait for your dream job to find you; or you can get your name out there more. Professional associations within your industry will often provide networking events, online communities, or job boards for members only.
You can also use apps like Meetup to find local networking groups for young professionals, women professionals, or specific alumni. Take a personal business card (Easy to design with free tools like Canva, and cheap to order with services like Vistaprint!) and tell others about what you're looking for. Someone may just know of the perfect job opening for you, and you'll never know unless you ask.
10. Upload Your Resume To Job Boards (But Be Smart!)
Another way to land a referral is by uploading your resume to job boards and waiting for a recruiter or headhunter to reach out to you. Be smart about what information you provide publically online, though. Remove your street address and just leave your city/state location to protect your privacy.
If you are really concerned about who contacts you, remove your phone number and only provide your email address. For even more security, list only your LinkedIn profile URL and request that all contact be made through LinkedIn messaging. It's an outdated practice anyway, but don't list any contact information for references or supervisors on your public resume either.