No other era has given more opportunities or methods to communicate effectively. Think about it! We have Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, smartphones, texting, email, and the whole Internet to use to express ourselves and communicate effectively. But despite all of these opportunities to communicate, all of these tools to communicate effectively, we find that people often fail to communicate at all.
Distance through devices impairs ability to communicate effectively
The devices, apps, and systems have created distance instead of community. We have isolated ourselves with gadgets and methods instead of taking the time to really communicate.
The photo above is by one of my favorite photographers, Sebastien Wiertz. He has generously allowed me to use his photos for a number of years. On Flickr, the note he wrote to go with this photo is:
Lost in communication
When I ask around me what is the first issue they would like to change in their company people always answer “communication.”
It seems that the more device we have to communicate the less we do. Communication is not simply selecting a technology channel. Get out of your (ice) cube and face to face with people as much as you can.
If you stop to contemplate that, you will realize how profound Sebastien’s thought is for everyone but even more so for job seekers. When I work with job seekers, I find that many of them think that their job is done if they just apply online. Fears of actually making contact with others who have the power to help them with their job search or career goals is overwhelming. They apply online and hope that someone will communicate.
Some of this desire to be careful is forged by overworked and if we are honest, often arrogant hiring managers and recruiters who want you to just apply online and wait to be contacted. Unfortunately by following this model of not communicating effectively, you can lose the chance to prove that you are the best candidate for the job.
I often share my frustration with the way the hiring process has automated itself in the age of computers and applicant tracking systems (ATS) but I know that there are many great people who are hiring managers and recruiters who have a much better view of the hiring process and I meet them regularly online and sometimes those people are also my clients. If you have struggled with being able to communicate effectively in your job search, try getting out of your ice cube and go face to face with people as Sebastien suggests above.
Build knowledge of the company to communicate effectively
Use informational interviewing to understand the composition of a company and what their true needs are so that when you do make contact with the hiring manager, you are speaking their language. Use the telephone to follow up instead of email. You will communicate effectively and more likely to move forward in the process.
If a company is blocking your ability to make contact and thus your ability to communicate effectively, maybe that isn’t the best place for you to work. This is a tough decision to face because we don’t want to blow our chances but when you really think about it, job search is a long term project. You want the best fit for your future. You don’t want to grab onto something just because it is convenient. You want to meld your talents and skills with a company that will value your contributions.
Job search can be a lonely process and it is scary. For many years, I have partnered with job seekers in my interactive process that allows us to create your job search strategy, resume, and other career marketing materials to position you for success. Start here to learn how.