Do you ever get calls from telemarketers? How often do you end up making a purchase based on a cold call from a stranger? The statics say sales success based on cold calls is less than 1%. In job search, sending out resumes to strangers is like cold calling. It has a very low success rate. Here’s why:
- The cold caller knows little about the prospect, including his or her needs and, more importantly, situation. For example, I recently got a telesales call pitching season tickets to the local children’s theater. The caller described the quality of the performances without ever determining if I have kids. Cold calling is shooting in the dark.
- The prospect (the person answering the phone, or receiving a resume from a stranger) has no reason to trust the sales person. Without a connection or recommendation, the cold caller is usually greeted with suspicion.
Responding to advertized jobs without any connection or special insight is as ineffective as cold calling. As experienced sales people know, the chance for success increases with warm introductions. For job seekers, the connection scale looks like this.
- Zero connection: Resume sent blind.
- Response to advertised opening. Job description gives job seeker information about company’s needs, but company lacks trust and insights into candidate
- Candidate introduced to company by an insider. Company has reason to notice candidate.
- Candidate directly introduced to the hiring manager. Hiring manager has reason to trust candidate.
- Strongest connection: Candidate knows hiring manager from prior experience or networking.
The further up this ladder of connection and introduction you can get, the greater your chances of getting hired. This is one of many reasons why it’s important to constantly be growing your network and focusing on jobs where you have a connection. You can send out many resumes with low connectivity and experience poor results, or fewer, but more targeted resumes with strong connection and greater success.