The Most Important Part of Any Job Application — According to a Recruiter

Yes, it’s important to optimize your LinkedIn profile and tweak your resume for every single job you apply to. But it may come as a surprise to you that the single most important thing you can do to land yourself a job has to do with a tiny, often-missed question found on many organizations' job applications: “Were you referred to XYZ Company?”

The answer to this question is your one-way ticket to getting a previously-rejected resume reconsidered or a newly submitted resume evaluated.

As a recruiter, there have been countless instances where a candidate who fell short of the required qualifications for a job was phone interviewed simply because he or she was referred to us by someone in our organization. This practice isn't only important to recruiters. It's good for all parties. Referrals have great conversion rates from hire to tenure and generally improve the quality of hire.

It is also important for us to acknowledge the recruiting work our employees doing on our behalf.

Think about it. If you referred someone, or multiple someones, and the company you worked for never followed up? You'd stop helping the recruiter or HR department if you don’t feel your recommendation is validated or appreciated. And, as a recruiter, it helps for me to assume that the person making the referral wouldn't have done it nonchalantly, as it reflects on them as well.

While it may not be possible to only apply for jobs where you have a personal connection, I recommend the majority of organizations you use are ones with at least a second-degree connection.

And before you automatically assume that you don’t know a single person at XYZ company, consider if you at least know someone who knows someone.

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Hint: LinkedIn Makes This Very Easy.

When you’ve identified at least one person who can vouch for you, alert them that you’ve applied. Yes, apply before reaching out for a recommendation because all good recruiters will force you through the appropriate channels before moving forward with your candidacy.

Hint: this has to do with federal and/or internal reporting purposes. Simply explain to them that you recently submitted an application for the XYZ role at XYZ company and attach your resume. Then, kindly request that they pass along your name to the hiring manager responsible for the role.

And before you feel exhausted at all of the legwork involved in answering that one question on a job application, consider these stats from Jobvite and ERE:

  • 78% of recruiters rank referrals as the best source for quality hires.

  • After two years, retention of referred employees is 45% compared to 20% from job boards.

  • Referrals are only 6.9% of all applicants.

So, now will you do what it takes to be in that 6.9%? Answering “yes” to that short – but very significant – question is your one-way ticket to getting seen.

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This article was produced by FairyGodBoss and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.