Even in today’s digital age, trusted personal referrals and recommendations carry the most weight when selecting a new employee out of a pool of candidates. Your resume, your online job application, and your LinkedIn profile are all digital files. They cannot speak for you, defend you, or explain your value.

The problem with a digital application process is that, if the employer’s applicant tracking system rejects you over what it finds in the applications, you’ll never know if you would have been a strong contender for the position otherwise. You can get rejected without having a chance to first impress the employer one-on-one in a real conversation.

What gives you an edge when pursuing a job is personal contacts. Real, live shared experiences enable others to judge and recommend you. The best way to impress an employer is through someone the employer knows and trusts. That’s how employers hire. That’s your best chance for landing that dream job.

Don’t apply for jobs using impersonal, automated means (online applications, LinkedIn requests, etc.) because you can’t defend yourself via purely digital tools. You have far more control and better chances of making a good impression if every job you pursue is through personal contacts and introductions. When viewed through a very sterile lens of an application, something in your background that may cause hesitation with an employer may not matter so much if someone the hiring manager trusts recommends you personally and strongly.


Rick Christensen

Rick Christensen: Director, Career Transition Practice Rick has been a career consultant for over 25 years, serving a very broad-based and diverse clientele. His specialties include effective group facilitation, one-on-one coaching and consultation at all levels including senior executives.

Rick’s passion is coaching individuals through career transitions, developing career management strategies and in identifying and sharpening competencies to open doors to new opportunities. His efforts have assisted thousands of individuals achieve their full potential.