- So What is Networking Exactly?
- How Does Networking Help You Land a Job?
- How Does Networking With Veteran Employees Increase Your Chances of Getting an Interview?
How Does Networking Help You Land a Job?
Let’s take a look at how people are generally hired at corporations. It’s actually not entirely different from how we are processed into the military, except there are no physical fitness tests in corporate America.
Let’s say, for example, that the senior vice president (SVP) of advertising sales at Company ABC wants to grow his business and is looking to hire additional employees. The SVP is equivalent to a full-bird colonel or regimental commander in the infantry. He is extremely busy trying to manage and grow his business, so he doesn’t have time to search for candidates, just like regimental commanders don’t have time to go to high schools and recruit more soldiers for their units.
Similar to how the military has recruiters and administrative personnel to locate and process new soldiers, the SVP has a Human Resources (HR) department to search for candidates. The mission of the HR department is to locate qualified applicants based on the hiring criteria given to them by the SVP, conduct initial interviews, whittle the applicant pool down to the best four or five candidates, and then present these candidates to the SVP for the final decision.
This is where many veterans get stuck. The job market is extremely competitive right now. HR personnel have to review dozens and sometimes hundreds of resumes for one position. They have only 30 seconds, at most, to look over a resume and determine whether the person is qualified for the job. And because most HR recruiters haven’t served in the military, they don’t fully understand our skills and experiences. Therefore, more times than not, our resumes get thrown in the “no” pile and are never considered by the hiring manager.
The trick is to get yourself past HR and in front of a hiring manager (in our example, the SVP of ad sales)—the decision maker—so that you can verbally make your case for the position. That’s the goal! HR personnel can say “no” to a candidate, but they cannot actually hire anyone. That final decision lies with the hiring manager. If a hiring manager already knew you and thought you’d be a strong candidate for a certain position, he would tell HR that he’d be interviewing you, and HR would coordinate and process the appropriate paperwork.
Let’s look at this personal example. Last fall Mike was searching for a job. He applied to 34 positions through various companies’ online job forums. In 16 of the companies, he was unable to network with a veteran or an employee who worked there. Out of these 16 companies, he received no callbacks for interviews. In fact, automatic rejection emails started trickling in.
For the remaining 18 positions, he was able to connect with a veteran employee at each of the corporations, who was then able to help “refer” or recommend him for the position. (We’ll talk about how he did this later in the book.) Mike ended up getting called back for ten interviews! Veteran employees conducted two of the interviews, and he was subsequently offered positions at both companies. Employees with no military experience conducted his remaining eight interviews, and he received only one offer.
Isn’t that amazing? Networking with a veteran employee increased Mike’s chances of getting an interview from 0% to more than 50%! And both veteran employees who interviewed him subsequently offered him positions at the company.