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.

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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