Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Today, if you're looking for a decent job, it's rarely enough to just write a good resume and cover letter, and interview well.
Extraordinary times require extraordinary measures. Here are some:
Buy Google AdWords for the names of bosses you want to work for. Like most of us, your target bosses probably like to google themselves frequently. Imagine if they saw a sponsored ad from you saying, "Isn't googling yourself fun? So's hiring me. (insert a link to your LinkedIn profile or website.)
Rewrite the job description in your image. Often, in reading a job description, you can tell that the employer isn't quite sure what s/he's looking for, or that it was a job description written by committee and so it includes so many requirements that Superman would be screened out.
Rewrite the job description so it seems optimal for the employer and well-suited to you. Acknowledge that your version of the job description is borne of limited knowledge of the employer but that it, at minimum, provides a sample of the way you think.
Take charge of part of the interview. This is risky; assess the vibe in the room before trying it. But especially if it seems like the employer is looking for a take-charge person, ask, for example, if you might go to the whiteboard to describe how you'd proceed if hired.
Send more than a thank-you note. For example, you might include an outline of what you'd do if hired. I recall a candidate for a sales job who sent a list of 50 prospects at government agencies he'd pitch if hired. He was hired immediately.
Have someone call on your behalf. Ask your most eloquent advocate to call (leaving voicemail is okay) the hiring manager and say something like, "I hear Joe Jones is applying for the job as VP operations. I want to let you know that I know him well and I think he'd be a magnificent hire." (insert basis for that assertion.)
If someone else got hired, call the hiring manager. Say something like, "Of course, I was disappointed that I didn't get the position. I'm confident I could have done a great job for you. But I'm not calling to ask you to reconsider, only that if for some reason the person you hired doesn't work out or another position comes open for which I might be well suited, I'd like to hear from you. I really enjoyed meeting you and would welcome working for you."