The Secret Of Corporate Hiring Revealed

by - m on 08/01/2011

Here’s a typical scenario:

I am contacted by someone I don’t know… 
“Hi Mr. Boss, My name is Alan Smithee* and I saw a job posted on your corporate website that I’d be PERFECT for. Would you mind forwarding the enclosed resume to the right person..?”
or
I am contacted by someone I do know…
“Hi Daily, there’s a sharp kid I met who’d be great for a job I saw posted. Could you get his resume to the right person? His name is Alan Smithee…”
There are two problems with this approach…
  1. You are wasting your time.
  2. It doesn’t work.
It’s a waste of time because the position is probably 50% on its way to being filled by the time you notice it. It doesn’t work because the top candidates are either already known to the hiring manager or have been recommended by trusted colleagues. If you are not already on the list of trusted referrals you have slim chance of getting an interview.
What can you do?
Chef and author Virginia Willis writes about what has worked for her in her blog Rise Up: Setting Goals & Peach SoufflésIt’s required reading for anyone trying to break into a specific field. 
And here are a few of my suggestions:
Start now for later. Build a relationship before you ask for something. It takes weeks, months, and sometimes years to be recognized for the value that you bring.

Be specific. Know exactly what skills and traits you offer. Employers aren’t looking for people trying to “get my foot in the door”. They are looking for people who can, first and foremost, perform specific job duties – then fit the culture.

Be patient. Expect “near misses” (actually “near hits”.) You may get a return call or a follow-up email asking you questions about availability and to provide examples of your work, then – nothing. That’s okay. You are on the radar. 
Be professional. Convincing others that you are the right person with the right skills is painstaking work and can be exasperating. Never let the frustration show.
Keep going.
– m
Alan Smithee is not the actual name.

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