Don’t be a stranger. No, we don’t mean like your aunt and uncle mean it when they’re trying to tell you to come visit the farm more often. This is a ‘wag of the finger’, from us to you: DO NOT BE A STRANGER! Why not? Lou Alder answers the question in his LinkedIn post, Why Strangers Don’t Get Good Jobs.
Lou presents a pretty staggering statistic here: 92%. That’s the percentage of people hired who have a connection to the hiring manager or someone else at the company. And it’s not because employed people have more skilled friends. It’s because they know the candidates that they recommend and can vouch for them as people and team members.
He goes on to describe how to turn strangers into non-strangers, and this perspective and advice is super helpful to read for both recruiters and job candidates. But there’s one tip that rises above the rest: become a networking fanatic. Giving a special presentation, having great questions, handing in a sample of your best work, all that stuff is great and should be standard operating procedure in conjunction with, and support of, networking. And nothing compares to knowing someone from within who’s in a position to put in a good for you.
So, before you apply anywhere, comb your network, look for those people and reach out. When you can connect with a new acquaintance who knows someone who knows someone, you’re in way better shape than if you have no acquaintance. And, uh, all that networking stuff? If you need any help with that… well, you know who to turn to.