The Secret to Getting Hired In Today's Job Market

job search tipsYou all know someone who is either out of work or in the throes of the job application process. Maybe you are even trying to move up at your current place of employment or get a pay raise. Either way, you know one thing for sure: It's harder to get a job today than ever before.

But rather than blame the economy or corporations, what you need to be asking yourself is: Am I looking for a job the right way?

In his debut novel, 'Headhunter Hiring Secrets,'Skip Freeman, president and chief executive officer of the Hire To Win Group, an Atlanta, Ga., executive search firm, lays it on the line for all job seekers out there: "Job seekers who continue to rely exclusively, or nearly exclusively, upon the Internet for job leads will no longer be seeing the whole picture."

The hiring rules have changed -- permanently

Gone are the days when looking for a job was an easy process that could be done from the comfort of your home with a nothing more than an e-mail address, telephone and a computer. "Companies are running as lean as they ever have and there is little incentive for them to change. Thus, many of the jobs that have been lost have disappeared forever," Freeman says.

Getting a job in today's market is harder than it used to be in every way, and you have to be willing to think outside of the box and adapt to the new rules of the "game."

According to Freeman, "in today's economy, companies do everything they can to find ways to eliminate you from further consideration. I call this the exclusionary principle. Only those job seekers who learn about and apply the adaptive techniques for avoiding exclusion from the available pool of candidates will get hired today and in the future."

How to get hired in today's market

Skip's Tips for getting in front of a hiring manager today are:

"It is the combination of the last two, direct mail followed by the phone call, that is working the best in the current market." The challenge of today's job market is that companies want to save money, not spend it, so "they will only hire a person if that 'human resource' can make 'em money or save 'em more money than a non-human resource," Freeman says.

These six recommended techniques require skill, thought and a plan, whereas just applying online only leaves you to play a game of pure chance. By crafting a one-page direct mail piece and sending it to a potential employer and then following it up with a carefully worded phone call, you stand out from the competition and clearly show hiring managers how you can make their company money or save their company money; you demonstrate your value as a human resource -- and that is the key to winning in today's job game.

Direct mail letters

Direct mail letters are not cover letters. Multiple examples can be found on pages 165 and 166 of Skip's book or on his website, but here are the key components that make these letters different.

  • Use a colon in the salutation, not a comma.
  • Demonstrate in your opening sentences that you have done your research about the company.
  • Use bullets to highlight your accomplishments at your current position. This shows your value.
  • Use bullets to highlight what you will bring to the new company.
  • Set the stage in your closing for a follow-up phone call.
  • Use a P.S. in your letter -- it increases your chances of it getting read, by 75 percent.
  • Send the letter certified mail to ensure that it will be read.

What happens if you play by the old rules

According to the BLS JOLTS report, there are only 2.5 million jobs that are posted at any given time, which means that 40-70 percent of jobs available are not even posted, so if you are only looking online, then you are missing out on almost half of the available jobs out there.

Also, as many as 80 percent of job seekers look only online, which means that you are competing for jobs with a lot of other people.

Be different and expand your job search with Skip's Tips. Yes, the rules of the job world have changed; but if you know what the new rules are and you follow them, you will experience greater success.

What job search problems have you experienced? Tell us so we can find the Skip's Tips that will help you land a job.

Next:Six Top Industries Hiring in 2011

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