“I sent my resume to all these job ads and there’s been no response.”

Sound familiar? Well perhaps it’s not your fault.

Seek, Career One, Monster.com – these are valuable services designed to help employers find the right people. They do this through creating a focused platform that funnels candidates into a pre-determined system. Cool right? Sure, as long as you’re ideally qualified for the role because if you’re not then you’re probably going to be eliminated through the screening process where a bot/graduate checks your resume against a pre-determined criteria without any initiative or flexibility.

The end result? A good shortlist based on the criteria, but if you’re an ‘outside the box’ candidate? (This means you don’t tick ALL the boxes including qualifications, experience and tenure.) Then you don’t get the job. So how do you cheat the system and get in front of the right people in an elegant fashion and without standing out the front of their office wearing a sandwich board?

We all know the statistics, and regardless of their accuracy it’s common sense that most hires are made either before a job is posted on a job board or after the job is posted, but with someone that the organisation knows – a known quantity.

The answer then is to become a known quantity.

So here’s a step by step on how to do exactly that.

  1. Create a list of companies you want to work for.
  2. Define exactly the job you want.
  3. Use LinkedIn to find the person that hires that job.
  4. Send them a message –

Dear Jim,

To be honest, I love your company. Ever since you did that marketing thing with a cow and the grapes I’ve wanted to work with you. Also that product you make is very cool and makes me feel all warm inside.

I know you’re probably not hiring right now, but I wanted to be ready when you are, you see I’m an awesome cake decorator and I want to have the front running when you hire next and even if you never hire me at least we know each other right?

If you’re open to it I’m happy to come to your office or meet you wherever’s convenient.



Then sit down with them and listen to their advice, I mean REALLY listen – if they’re sitting down with you they want to help. Then explain why you want to work there, and why you should be on top of their list for the next recruit – don’t sell, just demonstrate through the outcomes you’ve created and any unique skillets you may have.

You’ll send heaps of emails and messages and get few responses but at least you’ll be outside the timeframes of a rigorous hiring process and as a worst case scenario you’ll meet some awesome people who can likely point you in the right direction. Remember, it’s not when you’re ready to leave you should be thinking about your next role – it’s right now.

Published in KnightTime Magazine