If I were a graduate (or anyone seeking a career), I’d do everything history says to do: Create a killer resume and cover letter and send it out on nice paper in a nice envelope to every employer that matches my desired career profile. Three days later I’d call each human resources department to make sure they received it. In the meantime, I’d be gathering as much information as possible about the organizations to which I’d applied by reviewing their website, their company profile, their mission and vision statements (if publicly accessible), and their customer service reputation.
Aren’t those the traditional steps to landing the job or career of your dreams? Those are the ones I used right out of college. The hangup with this strategy is that even though you’ve done everything correctly, you’re still one of many striving for the same outcome, or should we say “income”? In this market, whether you’re selling goods, services, or your own employment candidacy, you MUST significantly differentiate yourself, make personal and meaningful connections, and take the lead in regard to your unique brand/reputation.
History says when you do everything in the right order and at the highest quality, your wish for a prosperous life will be granted. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news: Doing what history says isn’t enough. You need to do all of those things PLUS:
- Take decisive action to set yourself apart by creating a strong personal brand;
- Build an internal network of advocates within your organization of choice;
- Follow through genuinely and transparently with those individuals who hold the key to your future.
Prior to the last 5 years, these three steps would have been incredibly difficult to accomplish. Today they are remarkably simple.