How To Get A Higher-Level JobExecutive Communityon March 11, 2024 at 4:16 pm Work It Daily


You want a job that’s one or two levels higher than your current job. How do you apply? Well, definitely not through an ATS.

Applicant tracking systems (ATS) are designed to find exact matches, and if you are trying to land a higher-level job, you are not an exact match. But the good news is I can give you a workaround.

Lots of people get hired into higher-level positions, but not through applying online.

2 Steps To Get A Higher-Level Job 

Step one in this process is to learn to go around the ATS. You need to connect with people who work at the company. Not the recruiter. Not even the hiring manager. You need to connect with people who would be your peers in the organization.

Then, you need to focus on step two, which is to tell a great connection story. A connection story is how you feel connected to the mission of the company. What would get you up out of bed every day and want to crush it for them? You need to identify with these people who would be your future peers.

After you’ve found a handful of future peers to connect with, put together this connection story and send it to them via LinkedIn. Ask them to connect. Here’s an example of what that connection request message should look like:

“Hey! Can we connect? I have a story I’d love to share about your company.”

Then, when they accept, message them and share the story about why you’re a huge fan of the company, and that’s why you’re really interested in the XYZ position, the higher-level position.

This going to prompt them to check out your LinkedIn profile and more than likely just forward it to the hiring manager, saying something like, “Hey, this person reached out to me. They’re interested in the job you’ve posted.”

Why does this matter? Because the ATS is run by recruiters who are told to find exact matches, and they’re going to screen you out. If your LinkedIn profile gets forwarded to the hiring manager from a person who works in a totally different department, you’re not going through that same screening process as other applicants who apply online. In fact, they’re elevating you because they’re saying, “This person made the effort to reach out and tell me their story. You might be interested in them.”

Now your story gets in front of the hiring manager, and the hiring manager thinks, “Oh, love the story. Looks like they might be able to do the job. Let me pass them to the recruiter.” And then the recruiter sets up an interview because even though you’re not a match, they were told by the hiring manager to do so.

I’ve seen a lot of people get higher-level jobs when they follow these two steps. But let me be clear: When you’re applying online, there’s no resume fix or cover letter or LinkedIn profile tip that I can give you that’s going to get you through the ATS and get you a shot at that job because you don’t meet the requirements.

If you believe you can do the job, you’ve got to tell a connection story and talk to other people in order to get in front of the hiring manager.

This job search strategy works. If you don’t believe me, sign up for Work It DAILY where I’m working with thousands of job seekers right now—and these tips are working. Try us free for seven days.

These tips will help you conduct a proactive job search. It is a game changer, and it’s really needed in this job market, especially if you’re trying to get a higher-level job. You can do it, but you need new and better techniques to succeed. And I would love to teach them to you.

Good luck, and go get ’em!

Work It Daily

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