How to Generate Interview Invitations: Mastering the Three Key Strategies


When embarking on a job search, it’s essential to adopt a sales and marketing mindset. Just like a salesperson, you need to create a funnel and reach out to a large number of people. Think of it this way: a thousand eyeballs need to hear from you, and only about 10% of them will be interested in learning more. You are the product in this scenario, and you must become skilled at marketing and selling yourself. Generating interview invitations is the sales part of the equation, where you focus on creating strong leads.

A salesperson understands that not every lead will result in a sale. Similarly, in your job search, you must accept that not every opportunity will lead to your dream job. However, by opening up the funnel and creating numerous opportunities, you increase your chances of finding that perfect fit. Let’s explore the three ways to generate interviews and set yourself up for success.

Referrals: The Fastest Path to Interview Invitations

One of the most effective ways to quickly cut the line and secure interview invitations is through referrals. A referral occurs when someone within the company you’re interested in formally or informally recommends you for a job posting. It’s like having someone on the inside vouch for you and help you get in the door. Networking intentionally to build relationships and receive referrals is a powerful strategy.

“Networking intentionally so that people offer to help you through a referral is one of the most effective ways to quickly cut the line outside of the club. That’s what you’re trying to do. And so one of the ways to get invited to an interview, i.e., get invited inside the club, is by having someone on the inside help you get in.”

By leveraging referrals, you tap into the hidden job market and gain access to opportunities that may not be publicly advertised. Referrals carry weight and increase your chances of securing an interview. Networking and building relationships should be a significant focus during your job search.

Selectively Applying to Right-Fit Roles Online

While referrals are a powerful strategy, it’s also essential to apply selectively to right-fit roles online. However, this should only account for about 20% of your job search time. Spending excessive time submitting applications online is often a waste of effort, as many applications go unnoticed or unreviewed.

“I really cringe when I see people post on LinkedIn that they finally got their job offer, and then they post all their statistics, and one of their statistics is like, ‘I submitted 800 applications.’ That is so much wasted time and effort. To me, that is not a smart, intentional way of creating a lot of leads.”

To optimize your online applications, you must be selective and strategic. Applying to as many jobs as possible in the hopes of playing a numbers game is not an effective approach. Instead, focus on applying to 10 to 15 right-fit roles each week. This targeted approach increases the likelihood of your resume being reviewed by a human and saves you valuable time.

Getting Recruited on LinkedIn: The Hidden Job Market

LinkedIn is a powerful tool for job seekers, particularly when it comes to getting recruited. Recruiters often search for candidates with specific skill sets or experience and reach out to them directly. This is the hidden job market, where opportunities come to you.

“Getting recruited on LinkedIn requires an active, updated, and optimized profile. You want to have strong keywords in your headline, a nice picture, and a great background cover. Your experiences should have bullet points highlighting your impact. Optimizing your LinkedIn profile and resume go hand in hand.”

While LinkedIn outreach may not work for everyone in the same way, it tends to be more successful for individuals with specialized skills or extensive experience in a particular field. Recruiters target candidates who align with their specific requirements. However, it’s important to note that LinkedIn outreach typically aligns with your past career path rather than a completely new direction.

To increase your chances of getting recruited on LinkedIn, ensure your profile is optimized, up to date, and showcases your strengths and accomplishments. This strategy can be a valuable addition to your job search efforts.

Balancing Your Time and Maximizing Impact

To make the most of your job search, it’s crucial to allocate your time effectively. Consider your strengths and the amount of time you have available each week. Focus on the three strategies mentioned earlier and determine how much time you will dedicate to each.

“Referrals should be 60% of your time focus. Applying to jobs online is like 20% of your time. And then LinkedIn is the other 20% of your time. That’s how I think about spending your time on high-impact activities during your job search.”

By prioritizing referrals, selectively applying to right-fit roles, and optimizing your LinkedIn presence, you create a comprehensive approach that maximizes your chances of generating interview invitations. Remember, during the initial stages of your job search, your primary focus should be on generating interviews rather than perfecting your interview skills.

In conclusion, mastering the art of generating interview invitations is crucial for a successful job search. By leveraging referrals, selectively applying to right-fit roles, and optimizing your LinkedIn presence, you can create a robust pipeline of opportunities. Networking intentionally, building relationships, and positioning yourself as a valuable candidate are key elements of this process.

Looking ahead, the job search landscape continues to evolve, and it’s essential to stay adaptable and open to new strategies. As technology advances and the job market becomes increasingly competitive, job seekers must embrace innovative approaches to stand out. By focusing on generating interview invitations, you lay the foundation for a successful job search and increase your chances of securing your dream job.

So, as you embark on your job search journey, remember to prioritize referrals, be selective in your online applications, and optimize your LinkedIn presence. By mastering these strategies, you position yourself for success in the ever-changing job market.

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