Embracing The OTHER Job Market does not require black magic, just a bit of confidence in yourself. The best thing about this black-hole-free job search approach is that when you start to reach hiring managers directly, you’ll be in more substantive conversations right away than the typical HR screening process allows.
That’s because your hiring manager, a/k/a “The Person With the NEED to be addressed,” isn’t hung up on your certifications and years of experience with random tools.
NEXT Week’s Session, Thursday, March 21st… an examination of the 3rd party world of recruitment: WHO Do You Trust?
With the hiring authority, you have an opportunity to talk about what really matters, whatever NEED the job requisition was designed to alleviate, when you’re talking directly with the person who’s actually losing sleep over the budget shortfall or the customer exodus or whatever is rotten in Denmark.
Here’s your toolkit for stepping up from tradition, “Black Hole job-hunting” to take your career into your own hands, and reach out to hiring managers who are facing exactly the sort of business pain you can solve.
Having a GREAT Resume
There’s no sense creating a direct channel for your message if you’re planning to deliver a robot-speak “gag-me-with-a-spoon” -type resume to your hiring manager. In order to make your direct approach count, you’ve got to come across as human on paper.
An “Echo” Letter of Introduction
An echo letter of introduction is a snail-mail letter that goes directly from you to one hiring manager in one employer. It is personal, in the sense that you’ve learned enough to say something insightful about what the employer is doing, where they might be running into rough seas, and how your background relates to the hiring manager’s most likely business need.
Your ECHO LETTER of Introduction reduces the awkwardness of your follow-up, cold call… gives you BOTH something to talk about. And the best part is that it doesn’t prematurely expose you to the more traditional YES-No-maybe judgement!
A Need Solving LinkedIn Profile
…One that is in sync with your resume to be requested and read. If your hiring manager opens your letter and reads it, the first thing s/he’s likely to do is find your LinkedIn profile. (You will have listed your profile url at the top of your resume, just under your email address, so your LinkedIn profile will be easy to find.)
Fodder for your Echo Letter of Introduction
You’ll need to find the name of your hiring manager on LinkedIn, an easy thing to do unless the firm you’re approaching is IBM or another corporate behemoth. You can use LinkedIn to search on the company name and the title of the person you’d typically report to (Materials Director, e.g.) and get your hiring manager’s name quickly.
Need a HOOK? Get one from the Company website. Lastly, you’ll need the company’s mailing address, which will be on the company’s website, too.
Embracing The OTHER Job Market
The last thing you need to approach The OTHER Job Market effectively is a willingness to step out of the standard “I’m a Good Little Jobseeker” frame. Sometimes, this is the hardest part of the process.
Once you realize that even if the hiring manager hates your letter or if a fearful HR person, affronted by your direct approach, blacklists you from employment in that firm forever, you will still be fine. No one is going to come to your house and slash your tires because you sent a guy a letter that said “Maybe you have this kind of issue going on. A lot of people do. Maybe I’ve run into that kind of thing before. Maybe we should talk.”
But Bob, I was told not to contact the hiring manager directly!
You are an adult and a professional. Are you taking orders now from people you don’t know who also aren’t paying you?
But, Bob, what if my failure to follow the rules gets me in trouble with that company?
Would you consider for three seconds working in a place where the act of sending a fellow businessperson a letter with a stamp on it gets you cast out and exiled? If you were banished from the kingdom for that heinous infraction in business etiquette, you would have dodged a big old bullet.
NETWORKING is a contact sport!.
We know that lots of employers have to step up their game and bring a human voice to the recruiting machine. The good news is that it’s easy to do.
In the meantime, job-seekers can sidestep the dysfunctional, traditional system and have pain-and-pain-solving conversations with hiring managers any time they’re