Wow! 2012. Five days into this brand new year. In China it's the year of the dragon (check up what this holds of great fortune for dragons!). Let me start by wishing all blog readers a fantastic happy New Year 2012 and one that hopefully may be filled with great health, good fortune and lots of prosperity for all.
New Year's is time for resolutions and one (of many) that I've made is to blog much shorter but with a higher frequency and intended higher value! The theme for January 2012 will be "What they don't teach you in job seeker school" and will be snippets of singular but hopefully great advice. The main theme "How to get a job" stays supreme.
Season 1 - Episode 1 - S1E01 focuses on getting attention!
Let's assume that you have zoomed in on a company where you (think) you'd like to work, perhaps even a specific business unit or "division" etc. maybe even a specific department and - with your excellent planning - you know exactly the job function you'd like to take on. Well you know all this but the problem is that they are not hiring - for what you know! What to dooo??
Now the usual way of approaching this would be to pass an unsolicited job application to the human resources department of the company. That approach is in the past. Trust me. I've done that many a times and usually hear nothing back. If I do, it's no more that the polite "we have no open positions at the moment but we'll keep your application on record if you allow us". Out of 50 or so such unsolicited applications I have received two such responses. That's a hit rate of 0% and a response rate of about 4%. Not very fantastic. What does work however, is the following:
1. Research the company and try to establish who manages the respective department you seek work in. You can do this online or you can possibly do this by going via social networks like LinkedIn.
2. If that is impossible, it is always possible to establish who the business director is for the relevant business area that you seek work in.
3. When that is established, make a compelling cover letter and pass that with your resume, directly by email, to the person in charge. I wouldn't recommend that you make a phone call or show up in person asking for a meeting. That may be considered too trying. Instead, send an email.
4. An email will as well show the recipient that you are interested, resourceful and determined. Now you may ask, how do you get this email address? Well, sometimes the email is stated in a company contact directory. Other times, you can find this on LinkedIn. If that is not possible, you can try guessing with multiple combinations of a person's first and surname adding then the company (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org etc. That's all fine and may work but what is distinctly quicker and more precise is simply to ask for it. Call the company reception desk and mention that you promised to send an email to the relevant person and you have lost the email address. They'll readily give the exact address to you. I've done this several times and it works very well. Keep in mind that an email address is neither sacred nor company proprietary so there is normally no holding back anyone from sharing it when asked.
Have a fabulous year of the dragon and best of success with your job hunting.