It’s a fact of the job hunt: referrals are the way to get hired. CareerXroads’ 2014 Source of Hire report found companies filled 41 percent of their open positions by referrals. The trick is finding a way to get that referral.
Chances are, your best friend doesn’t currently work with your dream company, but there are plenty of other sources. Here are four other ways you can get a job referral and land a great job:
Most job seekers don’t reach out to their professional references until a company asks them to provide them, but remember, they can also be a possible source of referrals. You already know your references will speak highly of you to another company, why not have them do that with their own?
If your references have moved on to new companies and opportunities, you can still ask them what it’s like to work there and for information on any job openings they know of. If your old supervisor, James, goes to Happy Hour with his co-workers, ask if you can come along one evening. This way, you can introduce yourself to his colleagues or managers and make more connections with the company.
However, realize that this isn’t the appropriate time to ask about getting hired. You’re just getting your foot in the door so when a position does open up, you’ll be fresh in their minds.
Thanks to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, you are already more connected than you think. Crowdsourcing works. Ask your friends and followers about job opportunities they’ve heard of in their workplace. If any of those options sound appealing, ask your connection to recommend you before you apply.
Be careful how you word and send your messages, though. Posting a status up like, “My job sucks. Who’s got a better one for me?” is unprofessional and won’t go over well with your future or current employer.
Jobvite’s 2015 Recruiter Nation survey found that 76 percent of recruiters said seeing volunteer experience on a job seeker’s social media was a good thing. It shows you’re involved in your community and can work to achieve a common goal.
Volunteering also gives you a new pool of possible referrals. Companies volunteer and attend fundraising events together so it’s a good way to meet employees at a company you’re interested in. Plus, it’s easy to break the ice since you both have the organization you’re volunteering for in common.
Having a personal blog or website is a great way to promote your employee brand. It allows you to share examples of your work and your thoughts on industry related topics. You can also include links to your resume or how-to videos.
Be sure to link to other industry bloggers or news, to create new connections. You’re more likely to attract the attention of someone working in your field, or even searching for job candidates, through expanding opportunities for social shares. Referrals can easily be supported by simply pointing directly back to your blog — a working portfolio of your skills.
What are some other unique referral sources? Share in the comments below!