Next to losing weight, one of the most common New Year's resolutions is to change jobs.

Given the unemployment rate is at an all-time low, employers are not only lowering their candidate expectations, they're also throwing money at the talent shortage by increasing salaries in hopes of luring more seasoned people away from other employers. In short, it's a good time to switch jobs

Finding work in the U.S. takes on average 6-9 months. Here's why...

Just because it's a smart time to look for a job, doesn't mean people will actually be successful at finding one. Job search is broken. It's also not something they teach you how to do in school. As a result, most people are doing it wrong. Essentially, thinking the activities they're doing will land them a job, but they don't. For example, applying to dozens of jobs online is a huge time waster. Studies show only 3 percent of the applicants ever get called for an interview. If you've applied to hundreds of jobs and gotten only a few calls, that's why.

Job search goes much faster once you've made a "connection."

The fastest way to get a new job is via referral. Over 80 percent of all jobs are gotten this way. Someone knows someone who works at the company that has a job you're qualified for. You get an introduction, and suddenly, your resume goes to the top of the pile because you come recommended. But, what do you do if you don't have a connection to facilitate this process?

Get them at "hello" and create the connection yourself.

Having worked with thousands of job seekers at Work It Daily, one unconventional approach we teach that has quite successfully helped them get job interviews when they had no connections is using a "disruptive cover letter". Instead of the traditional, boring cover letter - it's done in a storytelling format in an effort to get the reader at "hello." When you send an unexpected letter detailing an interesting story about how you feel connected to the job, the employer, or their customers, you can immediately help them see you are a member of their tribe. This sparks a connection that compels them to want to reach out and learn more about you. For example...

If you wanted to land a job with Apple, you might start the disruptive cover letter with:

"I remember the first time I held my iPhone 4 in my hands." Or,

"I was 13 years old when I learned the power of aesthetic design."

Whatever experience from your past that has taught you the company you want to work for is special is what you should share. Bring to life the passion you feel for them through a story.

For those that think this is silly, or too much work, consider this....

We expect personalization today, why wouldn't employers?

Today, we live in a mass customization consumer market. No longer does the one-size-fits-all mentality work. We expect to have choices, and the opportunity to tailor products and services to fit our needs. How do companies that sell us these goods do so? By building brands that tell stories and showcase how they understand who we are as a person. They personalize their marketing just for us. In return, we feel an emotional connection to them. When it comes to job search, you're a business-of-one who must do the same. Investing time in creating a disruptive cover letter shows the employer (a/k/a customer) you understand them - and that leads to them having a positive emotional reaction to you. 

The better you get at storytelling, the more opportunities you'll have.

In 2018, getting a new job can be a lot easier and faster if you learn how to market yourself the way top brands do. Proactively reach out and share a story that shows your connection to the company you want to work for so you can increase the chances of getting hired!

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Published on: Dec 19, 2017