Find the Side Door – A Quick Tip for Jobseekers

by | November 20th, 2012

Stand Out. It Makes Interviewing & Hiring Easier.

All too often, “Dear jobseeker” posts like this one are born when a hiring manager gets back to their desk after one too many boring or uninspiring interviews. We try to pass the lessons on in the hopes that the next person through the door will blow us away with a strong approach, a great (un-prompted) presentation or portfolio, and a barrage of questions that leave us just as excited about the hire as the job-seeker.

This post is the opposite. It’s a thank you to @joemyoung for using the time and smarts to find a side door into our company with the following interaction on Twitter — on a Sunday evening, to boot:

 

In under 300 characters, Joe separated himself from the stack of resumes and cover letters that flood the company through the traditional methods. He did not — in so many words — “ask for the sale” or make assumptions. He contacted me in a way that was appropriate and convenient for me, which will work out in his favor every time.

Twitter isn’t the Only Way

I’m not advocating that all the job-seekers reading this start hunting down company representatives on Twitter. It worked for me, this time, but it’ll be met with varying levels of success depending on who you reach out to.

I’m advocating for seekers to take a more creative approach to landing a job. Find the appropriate method for that specific job, industry and company. It’s not easy, but I bet it beats firing off resume after resume to hr@company.com 90% of the time.

Find a path less traveled to elbow your way in for an interview. Create a site, a blog post, an ad, a video that sells yourself. Attend as many events as you can, and figure out who you may have the opportunity to meet. If you’re in advertising/marketing and in San Diego, go to Mingle Bells!

Getting creative in the job search process puts more control in the hands of the job-seeker. Not to mention it’s a chance to hone your skills and show the world how you approach a tough problem. You don’t always need to lead with your resume, but have it handy when when you’re asked for it (Joe sent his site and a PDF resume within 20 minutes of my response).

Takeaways

The way you interview is important — once you land the interview. The contents of your resume may land you that interview — if it finds itself into the hands of the right people.

Find a way to get yourself in front of the right people. Find the side door.



  • Hi, I think your point of view is interesting and thought provoking. I think you also need to be cognizance of who will be doing the interview and whether they are old school or not as they will react differently to this style.

  • abegin

    @Steve, that is a good point I do think seekers need to be smart and careful about when to use non-standard application/interview tactics. Each company and hiring manager is unique and there’s no “one tactic fits all” here. Such is life!