How To Get Employers To Take A Risk On You – Part 2

Feb 13 2012 in Featured, Job Search Strategy, reCareered Blog by Phil Rosenberg

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In Part 1 – we discussed how to get an employer who doesn’t know you to take a risk on you (see:

Today, let’s talk about how to get an employer to take a risk on you … when you present additional risks because you’re in career transition.

You present the least risk to when a hiring manager knows you … probably why CareerBuilder reported that the hiring manager previously knew 80% of new hires before giving them an offer.

When a hiring manager doesn’t know you, they have to accept additional risks if they make the decision to hire you.

If you’re reading this and you’re between jobs, you’re probably thinking “Why does my unemployment create risk for an employer – It wasn’t my fault my last company had layoffs”.

For many of you, this is totally valid. There have been a great many who have been laid off, just due to bad luck.

… but there have also been others who were laid off because:

  • They weren’t doing a good job
  • They weren’t getting along with their boss
  • They weren’t getting along with their team
  • They were creating problems
  • They broke company policy
  • They had personal issues that interfered with work

When an average 1,000 job seekers apply for each job, your employer has many qualified candidates to choose from.

If your target hiring manager doesn’t know you and you’re in career transition, your target hiring manager is probably thinking … “the candidate may have been laid off through no fault of their own or they might have caused problems, hadn’t done their job well, etc.”

best career advice, best job search information, career advice, job search information, job search advice, job search help, job search tips, career information, career help, career tips, career info, job search infoIf you were the hiring manager, with more qualified candidates than interview spots, what would you do?

Would you give interview spots to candidates with lower risk? Or to candidates who might present a risk?

If you’re like most hiring managers, you avoid risk like spoiled milk.

So how can you break through this perception of risk?

    1. Don’t be a stranger: Get to know hiring managers … first. If the hiring manager knows you before you apply for a job, your chances of getting an interview goes up astronomically. Plus, you’ll have already had the chance to tell the hiring manager your side of the layoff story.


    1. Understand the process: this doesn’t mean to just get an org chart. To get beyond the perception of risk, you’ll need to understand each player, each influencer in the process. Talk to and meet as many in the hiring process to understand their own issues, problems, challenges and roadblocks.


    1. Do your homework: In order to portray yourself as a superior candidate, to put yourself head and shoulders above your competition, you first need to understand your hiring manager’s problems and their priorities. This also goes for others in the hiring process, including influencers.


    1. Brand yourself as superior: Once you understand a hiring manager’s priority problems, demonstrate how you’ve already helped solve them (and the value you’ve produced by solving) for prior employers.


    1. Get vouched: Make many contacts within your target company, so many internal employees can call the hiring manager (and the hiring manager’s boss) to say how great you are. When a hiring manager gets a call like this from one internal person, they may consider giving you an interview. When the hiring manager gets a call from 5 – 10 people saying “You’re nuts if you don’t hire Sally”, that carries significant impact and greatly reduces risk in the hiring manager’s mind.


Hiring managers – what else reduces your risk when considering candidates you don’t know?


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Author: Phil Rosenberg

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