How to Become Part of the 1% that Gets Hired

So you want to become part of the 1%? No, not the one-percenters that control more than a third of all American wealth. We’re talking about the 1% of job applicants that actually get hired.

Here’s how the math breaks down:

According to Glassdoor, the average job posting gets 250 applicants. Of those 250 applicants, about a dozen make it to a phone screen. From there, between 4 and 6 applicants are brought in for an onsite interview. Then, 1 person actually gets the job offer. So, it’s even less than 1% of applicants that get hired!

But don’t let those numbers scare you. Applying to jobs is still a bit of a numbers game, but that doesn’t mean that you should apply to hundreds of jobs, hoping that you get chosen. We’ve got 3 data-backed strategies that will help improve your chances of getting hired. Pick the ones that work for you and you’ll be set up to become part of the 1% that gets hired.

Strategy #1: Promote yourself.

Lewis Carroll suggests that people “begin at the beginning” – it seems like the right place to start, right? For storytelling, maybe. But for job hunting? You should get started before your job search even begins.

Excuse me? What does it even mean to start before the beginning? We’ll stop channeling our inner March Hare now. It means that before you start applying to jobs or reach out to people, you should set the stage. Tidy up your social media, make a personal website, and build out your professional online presence. Then, start promoting yourself, especially on networking sites like LinkedIn. Share articles you find interesting and relevant, fill out your profile, and let people know you’re open to new opportunities.

Over 90% of recruiters use LinkedIn when they’re hiring. So it’s in your best interest to build your presence on the platform before you really get going on your job search. By including relevant hashtags in LinkedIn shares, recruiters will be more likely to find you – and send opportunities your way.

Strategy #2: Apply with intention.

Okay, yes, your intention whenever you apply is to get the job. But what we mean here is to apply to jobs that are best fit for you. It’s been shown that the spray-and-pray method doesn’t work. Hiring software is pretty savvy these days, and these systems sift out what they see as only the best matches. So what you need to do is position yourself as the best possible match.

Take inventory of what you’re looking for in a job and work environment, as well as the skills you bring to the table. Apply to jobs that have the most overall between what you want and what you have to offer. Tailor your resume so that it includes keywords from the job description, which will help the hiring software see you as the most obvious match and move you into the “check out this one!” bucket.

Strategy # 3: Get a direct referral.

Feel like you’re doing everything right and still getting no traction? This is your game-changer strategy. Getting a referral makes you 10 times more likely to be chosen for the job. So how do you get a golden referral? You need to put yourself out there. Reach out to friends, family, and neighbors. Ask anyone you know who really likes their job and the company they work for.

At first, it might feel inappropriate to ask someone for a referral – even if you know them well. Especially if you’re friends, it can feel like you’re using them as a means to an end. That’s simply not the case. People who care about your are generally altruistic and want to see you succeed. Plus, companies often have referral programs for their employees. So really, you’re helping your friend’s bank account if you get hired – not just your own!

And sometime asking for help can make you feel less-than. It shouldn’t, but we get it. You want to be self-made and earn a job on your own merit, not some kind of nepotism. But networking isn’t nepotism. It’s getting your foot in the door. If you’re a terrible fit, they’re still not going to hire you for the job, even if you had a referral. (Unless you’ve got some crazy powerful connections with higher-ups… and if that’s the case, why are you reading this guide?)

Finding a job isn’t easy. It can feel like it’s a random numbers game. But with these 3 job search strategies, you’ll increase your chances of becoming part of the 1% that gets hired.