If you do, know that you’re not alone. People who work in public relations face similar challenges. They send out dozens of pitches, and often don’t hear back. So, how can you stand out?
Use PR Tactics To Get Past The Gatekeeper
Start Thinking Like A PR Person!
1) Follow the rules
Many public relations practitioners subscribe to an email service called Help A Reporter Out (HARO). Reporters and writers submit story ideas they ‘re working on and the types of sources/information they’re looking for. HARO then emails this list to over 45k+ people. Sources then respond to these queries with a pitch. If the pitch you send in to the reporter is off topic, you will be banned from the service. How you follow the directions can mean the difference between getting a great story or being left in the dust.
The same thing holds true for the job search process. So, follow directions! If you have to submit your resume online, do that first. After submitting your resume online, use other sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) to see if you have any mutual connections that work at the company you’re targeting. Reach out to those folks to find out more about the company, and to see if they would be willing to pass your resume along.
2) Be a stickler for research
In PR, whenever you are doing research for a pitch, it pays off to not only research the publication, but also the writer/reporter. You want to know what kind of stories they cover so you can angle your pitch. For the job seeker, you can use search engines like Google, your social media accounts and people you know to find out as much as you can about the company you’re targeting and, down the line, the person you’re interviewing with. If you want to take it a step further, set up a Google Alert or Mention account to monitor the company. These alerts tell you whenever the business is mentioned in the news or online. This information not only comes in handy when you write your resume and cover letter, it also helps you during the interview process.
3) Stop selling and start story telling
This is a big one! Many clients say – “I need press- submit this story on how great we are.” Guess what? The media and the employer don’t care that you’re a wonderful person or that your company is the best. The media cares about stories for their particular audience, and your future employer cares about one story – how you can make their company better and more efficient. Get this across to them in a compelling, creative way and you’re golden.
4) Acknowledge that it’s a numbers game and keep submitting
Not every pitch is going to get picked up. Does that mean it was a bad pitch? Not at all. Someone else may have had a better pitch or one that most closely fit what the reporter was looking for.
As a job seeker, go into the search knowing that not every resume submitted will result in an interview. This does not mean that you shouldn’t give it your best effort.
Your resume, cover letter and job search approach will get better too. If you’ve given it your best effort, then there is no reason to give up or let discouragement get you down. Remember too, there are often other factors at hand. The company could have had a strong internal candidate or referral candidate. You just never know. The important thing is to keep trying.
P.S. Still frustrated by online applications? It’s not a perfect process, but many companies (especially those that have government contracts) are required to collect applicants this way. For more help, check out this post on 6 Easy Ways To Bust Through That Online Application System.
A version of this post, by our Social Media Specialist, originally appeared on LinkedIn.
Photo credit: Chalk artwork, Perry Chalk Festival
Oldcastle is North America’s largest manufacturer of building products and materials. With more than 2,000 locations throughout North America, we are in constant pursuit of the next generation of successful decision makers, leaders and problem solvers. Learn more about joining the Oldcastle team HERE.
Follow Oldcastle Careers on Twitter, LinkedIn,Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest and Facebook forjobs and career advice. And, don’t forget to join our NEW Talent Community to receive a monthly e-mail newsletter with expert advice on the job search process.