The GREAT JOB SOONER Blog

Three 15-Minute Job Search Projects for Labor Day Weekend

With summer vacations ending, companies will be increasing the pace of their hiring activities. Here are a few small yet powerful things you can do to boost your job search momentum in 15 minutes each – less than an hour out of your Labor Day weekend.

Network at those barbecues and parties – but do it the smart way. Make a list of companies you might want to work for (you can do a quick-and-dirty, top-of-your-head list in five minutes, although eventually you’ll want to build it out to the recommended 40-50 employers). Then mention it to people you talk to over the weekend. Instead of asking people whether they know of any openings – which is usually a very short and sad conversation ending with “No, but I’ll keep you in mind” – ask questions about your target companies:

“Did you know I’m looking for a new job as a (whatever)? I’ve got a list of companies I’m interested in, like X, Y and Z. I’m trying to learn more about them, and not just what I can find out online. Do you have any advice?” Depending on who you ask, you may end up with some useful leads.

Make a plan to improve your resume and other job search materials, even if you don’t have time to work on it now. Get the ball rolling by buying a smart, up-to-date book like Modernize Your Resume by Wendy Enelow and Louise Kursmark.

Or spend a few minutes searching online for a good resume writer. Look for someone with experience, formal training, glowing recommendations on LinkedIn and/or Yelp, and certification by one of the major professional associations (listed in alphabetical order): Career Directors International, Career Thought Leaders, the National Resume Writers Association or the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches. Contact your top three candidates and ask for a free consultation.

Or contact me for a referral. I rarely write resumes myself, but I know who’s good out there, and will be happy to make an introduction.

Start getting ready for phone interviews, which can happen unexpectedly. A “quick chat” with a human resources person can happen anytime if you’ve submitted a resume, and even if you haven’t, since recruiters are increasingly trolling through LinkedIn and other online sources to find likely candidates. Look into interview coaches (the advice in the previous paragraph applies here, too, and of course I myself provide interview coaching services), or get a book for a frugal, DIY approach. My own Get That Job! The Quick and Complete Guide to a Winning Interview is a steal at $4.99 for eBook, $10.99 for paperback – and Forbes said it’s “Excellent,” by the way.

An added plus is that preparing for interviews will boost your confidence and readiness for networking conversations. And because you’ll be coming up with stories about your work accomplishments, you may discover new material to improve your resume as well.

After you’ve spent 15 minutes on one or more of these projects, pat yourself on the back, forget about job search, get outside and enjoy some sunshine! Exercise and fun will replenish the energy you need to take your next steps. Good luck!

Job Search Tips from the Olympics

simoneJob search has more in common with the Olympic Games than you might think.

Both require a participant to do their best in a high-pressure, competitive situation. And every great athlete knows success is not due purely to physical prowess; mental preparation is huge.

A study of Olympic athletes has shown that four key mental skills were crucial in their success.

One: Positive Self-Talk.

Here’s an Olympic runner:

Immediately before the race I was thinking about trying to stay on that edge, just letting myself relax, and doing a lot of positive self-talk about what I was going to do. I just felt like we couldn’t do anything wrong. It was just up to us. I said, ‘There’s nothing that’s affecting us in a negative way, the only thing now is to do it, and we can do it . . . I just have to do my best.’

I’m sure Olympic athletes have unhelpful thoughts, too – the equivalent of a job seeker’s “I’m so awful at interviewing” or “I can’t call that hiring manager, I’ll make a fool of myself!” But they can’t afford to let those thoughts go undisputed – and neither can you.

Instead of kicking yourself when these thoughts occur, just kindly replace them with positive thoughts like “I’m working on my interviewing skills and getting better all the time” or “I’ll get ready for that call and I’ll make a good connection” or “I’m calling him five minutes from now and we’re having a great conversation.”

Two: Visualization (a.k.a. Creative Imagery or Mental Practice).

These athletes had very well developed imagery skills and used them daily. They used imagery to prepare themselves to get what they wanted out of training, to perfect skills within the training sessions, to make technical corrections, to imagine themselves being successful in competition, and to see themselves achieving their ultimate goal.

Visualization goes even further than positive statements. Saying to yourself “I’m calling the hiring manager and we’re having a good conversation” is good – and vividly imagining is even better.

For tips, see my article Mental Practice for Interviews.

Three: Setting Goals.

The best athletes had clear daily goals. They knew what they wanted to accomplish each day, each workout, each sequence or interval. They were determined to accomplish these goals and focused fully on doing so.

We all know determination is important. How can you be determined to accomplish something if you don’t know specifically what it is? The overall goal of “get a job” is a start, but you also need smaller goals that will get you there. Set objectives like “10 networking conversations this week” and apply your determination to those.

Four: Simulations.

The best athletes made extensive use of simulation training. They approached training runs, routines, plays, or scrimmages in practice as if they were at the competition.

Practice aloud for important phone calls. Do mock interviews. Be realistic, making sure your posture, facial expression and tone of voice are the same as they should be in the real situation. For interviews, do a dress rehearsal at some point.

Follow these four pointers in your job search and perform at the top of your game!

How to Find Skills-Based Volunteer Openings

What are the best websites to find skills-based volunteering opportunities?Looking for a professionally challenging volunteer opportunity? Skills-based volunteering can be a great job search strategy, a way to gain experience and contacts in a new field or update your skills when returning to the workforce after a lengthy break.

The tricky part is finding volunteer opportunities that are relevant to your career goals.

For example, I have a client who’s looking to volunteer as a curriculum developer. Only a few websites do well with lesser-known occupations like that. Many don’t focus on skills at all.

The following are most useful websites I’ve found for skills-based volunteer opportunities:

LinkedIn for Volunteers

Craigslist (Click the “volunteer” link in the “community” category.)

Idealist

All three of these sites allow you to easily create advanced searches for volunteer roles that fit your skills and geographic criteria. You can save your searches and get notified when there’s a match. Furthermore, on all three I was able to find openings requiring highly developed, specialized skills.

Beyond websites: other ways to find volunteer opportunities.

As with any type of job search, don’t spend more than 25% of your time applying “cold” (without a personal connection) to roles you’ve found online. The best roles are found (or created) through networking and referral. Often, an organization needs help but nobody has gotten around to posting an announcement. That’s where networking can get you in the door.

Make a list of organizations you’d like to volunteer for, and start following them and reaching out to people who might be in any way connected to them. Use your personal and social media networks. Cultivate referrals to managers and seek informational interviews.

Joining a professional association is another great way to make your skills known, spread the word and make contacts. Volunteering for association events is an easy way to build relationship, and working an event is often a great way to attend free or at a reduced cost. Plus, many associations make a point of matching individuals to organizations that need pro bono assistance.

Skills-based volunteering can be a very powerful part of your career development and job search strategy!

In Job Search Communications, Taglines Work for You!

In Job Search Communications, Taglines Work for You!Getting a job is a matter of marketing communications.

You have a product to sell – your skills – but you have a lot of competition. You need to be able to very quickly, clearly and memorably communicate what differentiates you. That’s your brand.

A tagline is a one-liner that instantly conveys your professional brand.

“How would I use a tagline in my job search?”

Use it in your resume as a headline or in the summary, at the top of your social media profiles, on your business cards and in your email signature – so people “get it” about you, right from the start.

You can even adapt it for use as an elevator pitch in networking situations, and as your answer to “Tell me about yourself”  in job interviews.

Here are some good taglines people have used:

“PMP-certified Project Manager – Known for successfully leading multi-million dollar projects in developing countries.”

Great! This communicates a job title, a key credential, and a couple of specialties, all in less than 120 characters so it will fit as a LinkedIn headline, among other uses.

Or let’s say you’re the head of a recruiting firm and you want to emphasize your great interpersonal skills, including humor and communication. Here’s what recruiter Michael Bense has on LinkedIn:

“Head honcho, headhunter, sometime head-shrinker and living proof that the only good recruiter is NOT a dead recruiter!”

Here’s a more conservative tagline from a different field:

“Six Sigma Master Black Belt | Dedicated to process excellence in auto manufacturing”

Or you could get very specific about your great results, as this tagline does:

“Social Media Expert driving successful campaigns on a shoestring budget. 800%+ ROI in the past 12 months.”

When writing a tagline that will be used as a LinkedIn headline, include keywords that will help you get found by recruiters. The most important keyword from a recruiter’s point of view is the name of the job they’re trying to fill, e.g., “Project Manager” in the first example above. Or you can add your title before the tagline, as I’ve done here with the third example:

“Operations Manager – Six Sigma Master Black Belt | Dedicated to…” etc.

I’ll end this post with my own email signature, which contains my tagline:

Thea Kelley, CEIC, CPRW, OPNS – Personalized, one-on-one career services. Get a great job, sooner!

What do you need a career coach for?

Jumpstart your careerIf you’re in career transition there are many ways a good career coach/job search coach can help you get the job you want, faster than you would on your own.

How can you use a career coach?

The following are ways that hiring an expert can help.

Overcome your unique job search challenges.

Nearly everyone faces some kind of difficulty in their job search. Are you:

  • Trying to break into a new line of work?
  • Struggling to overcome an unusual or uneven work history?
  • An older worker concerned about age discrimination?
  • Reentering the job market after being a stay-at-home parent?
  • Downshifting out of the fast lane into an encore career?
  • Just not getting results?

A coach can help you strategize your path forward and position yourself powerfully in the eyes of employers.

Ensure your job search strategy and techniques are up to date and effective.

Applying to openings you find on job boards isn’t enough. You need to know how to do a proactive campaign, and most of us aren’t born knowing how to network effectively. including networking and social media (definitely LinkedIn, and maybe others). A good coach knows how to cut through the clutter and focus your efforts on what really works.

Make networking less stressful and more effective.

Most people experience a big disconnect about networking: We’ve all heard that it’s the best way to get a job. But in “real life” it doesn’t seem to work, or it’s so uncomfortable it isn’t worth the stress. The problem is that there’s more to it than you think. Most people don’t know the best practices that make networking easier and more effective. A coach can help you revise your strategies for better results and less stress.

Optimize your resume, cover letters, LinkedIn profile and other materials.

You may be able to write effective job search materials on your own, but at the very least it’s a good idea to have them reviewed by a pro.

Learn to interview effectively.

Job interviewing doesn’t come naturally – it’s a learned skill, and once learned it will serve you for the rest of your working life. A coach can provide mock interviewing and expert feedback to help you present yourself in a way that is both authentic and strategic.

How to choose the right career coach.

Ask around, do a search on LinkedIn, read Yelp reviews. Look for a coach with training, experience and an obvious commitment to the field. Read their website. Then have a conversation, ask questions, and get a sense of whether this person is approachable, knowledgeable and helpful.

Of course, the most important part of coaching is what you do after the session: acting on what you learn and plan in the session. If you’ve got the right career coach, you should come out of each meeting well informed, energized and ready to take specific steps that will get you the job you want.

Informational Interviews: 10 Tips for Success

Informational Interviews: 10 Tips for SuccessInformational interviewing can be an amazingly effective tool to help you find a job. Of course, you need to do it right!

In a previous post I discussed why it’s a great thing to do: because it can lead to opportunities and offers! In this post I’ll tell you how to conduct these meetings in a way that gets results.

First, a  few pointers on getting the interview in the first place:

  • Ask people you know for potential contacts in the field or company you’re interested in.
  • Mention a common interest or acquaintance in the subject line of the email, or first thing in the phone conversation, to get their attention.
  • Ask for a specific, short amount of time like 15 or 20 minutes. (If all goes well, maybe you can spend more time with them on some other occasion.)
  • Set up an in-person meeting if possible, such as a coffee date near their location. (You should pay for the coffee!) A phone meeting is your second choice.

Tips to make the most of the meeting:

You have probably heard some of these tips before, but not all of them – and every one of them is important.

  1. Build trust and rapport first and foremost. Be on time. Aim to make the meeting comfortable. Take a genuine interest in the other person. Follow their cues: Do they seem to want to get straight down to business, or are they chatty and casual? Rapport is more important than covering a lot of ground. If the relationship gets off to a great start, information can come later!
  2. Have a (short) list of questions. Mention right up front how many questions you have; this will help you manage the time. One of the most important questions is “What other resources should I look into?” Above all, you’re hoping for introductions – to hiring managers ultimately, other insiders at your target companies (see #3 below), or anyone who might have information that gets you closer to these. Use good judgment before asking for this favor. Warm up with questions about the person you’re talking to – his job, company, career and interests – and your target companies.
  3. Offer a copy of your resume, or better yet, a networking bio or marketing plan / target companies list.
  4. Take a few notes, but don’t bury yourself in your notepad. (Immediately after the meeting, take a few minutes to complete your notes at a coffee shop or on the train.)
  5. Mind the time, and excuse yourself at the time agreed upon. Don’t leave it up to them to tell you that they need to get back to the rest of their busy day.
  6. Promise to update them within a certain amount of time (e.g., a week) on your experiences in following up on any advice or leads they’ve given you. Obligate yourself to follow up. That way, when you get back in touch you’re not being a pest, you’re just keeping a promise!
  7. Mail a thank-you card as soon immediately after the meeting. You might be surprised how much this is appreciated. An attractive card may be propped on the person’s desk for days, reminding them about your job search.
  8. Update them later as promised. Provide a brief progress report on the actions you took or people you contacted. This demonstrates follow-through, helps your contact feel the satisfaction of making a difference, and can lead to valuable new tips and information.
  9. Keep in touch with a quick update every few weeks until you find your new job. Otherwise, their promise that “I’ll keep my eyes open for you” is meaningless because they’ll forget about you. And how will they know you’re still looking if you don’t tell them? Use a system to schedule follow-ups – Outlook tasks, Jibberjobber, your CRM, or a tickler file. Invite the person to connect on LinkedIn and possibly other social media if they seem open to it.
  10. When you land your new job, thank this person again for helping you in your search! And then stay in touch. For example, you might thank them again when you get to your one-year job anniversary!

Informational Interviews for Fun & Profit!

OK, so it's a silly title, but I wanted to grab your attention. Info interviews are a wayOK, so it's a silly title, but I wanted to grab your attention. Info interviews are a way-underused tool for job search and career advancement!

Please excuse the wacky title, but I had to get your attention. Info interviews are a seriously underrated, underused tool for anyone who’s looking for a job.

An informational is not a job interview. While it may be true that one out of 12 informational interviews results in a job offer, focusing on that possibility can make both parties feel tense and inhibit the free flow of conversation.

Instead, the informational is a unique opportunity to build relationship, gain inside information and make your skills known in a low-pressure atmosphere.

(That said, if you’re fortunate enough to be interviewing with someone who could become your next boss – or one of her management peers – then your conversation will be similar to a job interview. Explore the employer’s needs and show how your own experience and skills are a solution. Just don’t expect an offer anytime soon. Be patient, keep in touch, and carry on with your search.)

Anyone who is at all knowledgeable about your target industry, occupation or companies could be a good person to interview. If they don’t have the information you’re looking for, they may refer you to someone else.

Here’s what you’re likely to gain from an informational interview:

Valuable information that can guide your job search.

Here’s an example from my own life: Before discovering my vocation as a career coach, back in the 1990s I wanted to become a corporate trainer. I had no experience in that area.

I obtained an info interview with someone who knew a bit about the field. She tipped me off that there was currently a boom in welfare-to-work training; I could get started there, drawing on my nonprofit background, and then make a move into the corporate world. And that’s exactly what happened. (It was a good experience, but I prefer my current work as a career coach!)

Inside information about your target companies.

Knowledge is power. Information about the culture, priorities and hiring processes of companies you’re interested is essential in a proactive job search – and will make you come across as a savvy candidate.

Professional relationships.

An informational can be the start of an ongoing connection leading to tips, introductions, mentoring and/or friendship.

Employers much prefer hiring someone who has some connection to them or their firm, especially someone referred by an employee. Make yourself known in the employer’s grapevine!

“But why would they make time for me?”

You’d be surprised how often people will say “yes” to your request for an informational. The benefits to them may include:

  • Industry information that may be helpful in their own career development.
  • Expansion of the “candidate pool” for future hires, if they are a manager.
  • Appreciation. It’s flattering being seen as an expert!
  • A chance to “give back” and make a difference for someone.

Have you ever been approached for an info interview? I have, and I’ve usually said yes.

In an upcoming post, I’ll provide tips on how to maximize the power of the informational interview to fuel your job search and career. Stay tuned!

Getting Past the Gatekeeper – More Great Tips

Getting Past the Gatekeeper - More TipsIn a previous post I discussed several ways to find out, when you discover an open position that interests you, who the hiring manager is.

That’s the person you really want reading your resume – the person who can make the decision to hire you!

Once you’ve found the name, how do you find the email address?

Other than email, U.S. mail or messenger services, are there less obvious ways of reaching that manager?

And how can you help ensure that the hiring manager won’t simply forward your resume straight to Human Resources without even reading it?

How to Find the Hiring Manager’s Email Address

Let’s say you’re trying to reach Robert Jones at Whatever Products. First try the easiest ways: Check the company website, or call the main number and ask. If the receptionist doesn’t want to give you the email address, try calling the same number during the lunch hour, when a less-wary person may be filling in.

If that doesn’t work, you can just try guessing: write to robertjones@whateverproducts.com and see if it bounces back. Or go to www.emails4corporations.com to find out the email convention used by the company, e.g., [first name, last initial]@whateverproducts.com.

Now double-check whether “robertj@whatever.com” is a valid address by using www.verify-email.org. Read the result in the light red bar. If you see “robertj@whatever.com – Result: Bad”, try it with other versions of the name, such as Rob or Bob.

Or – Don’t Email It!

If you can’t find the email address – or if you don’t want to compete with the numerous other emails the hiring manager receives every day – try sending your resume via U.S. mail or Federal Express.

Or use social media! You might really stand out by messaging the hiring manager via Twitter.

LinkedIn is another option. Assuming the manager is outside your network, check to see whether they belong to any Groups. If so, joining one of those Groups may allow you to send her a message. Or get introduced through someone you know in common; or send an InMail.

If your resume is online, include a link to it in your social media message; or just direct the employer to your impressive LinkedIn profile instead.

Get Your Resume Read

Once the resume is in the hands of the hiring manager, there’s the risk she or he will simply forward it straight to HR. To reduce that risk:

  • Make sure it’s a great resume. 
  • See if you can get someone who knows the manager to forward your resume to them. If it comes through a familiar source, it’s more likely to be read.
  • Check the job posting for instructions like “No phone calls.” If the coast is clear, say in your cover letter that you will call to follow up. Knowing you will be calling may cause the manager to read your resume and keep it on hand for the call.
  • To help ensure the receptionist won’t screen out your call, tell him or her the hiring manager is expecting your call, that you promised to call, or that you’re following up on some recent correspondence you’ve had with the manager. All are true, since your letter said you would call!

Next Time, Be a Familiar Name!

Wouldn’t this all be easier if the manager already knew you, either through a referral, introduction, informational interview or networking?

Spend most of your job hunting time making yourself known to hiring managers and those who know them, so when a job opens up you’re at the head of the line.

Job Search in Summer – Keep It Going!

Job Search in SummerMemorial Day is past, and many job seekers are easing off the job search accelerator and slowing down, thinking summer isn’t the right time of year to look for a new job.

Actually, there are several very good reasons to put your search on cruise control instead of downshifting.

While there may be fewer openings, there are also fewer people competing for them. So it’s easier to stand out.

Plant seeds in May and June to harvest a job in fall – or sooner! Yes, the pace of life in many offices accelerates in fall, and many recruiters work hard during the summer filling the candidate pipeline so they can have new people in place before they’re needed. Hiring processes take time – longer than they used to, in many cases.

Your job search efforts also take time: planning your strategy, polishing your communications, researching prospective employers and getting on their radar screen ahead of time through networking and informational interviews.

You wouldn’t plant tomatoes a few weeks before you want to pick them. The same goes for getting a new job. Seed your visibility in the right places. Feed your job search with the business intelligence you gather from informational interviews and networking. Prepare and cultivate now so you can harvest interviews and offers later – or sooner!

Activities to work on now:

Prepare good, concise, upbeat answers to key questions like “What do you do?” “What happened to your job?” and “What are you looking for now?”

Be ready to capitalize on summer networking opportunities like barbecues and parties. Avoid asking people if they know of any openings. The answer to that question is usually short and sad: “No, sorry, I don’t.”

Instead, mention what you do, what you’re looking for, and a few companies you’ve got your eye on. This gives them the opportunity to mention that they have a friend who works there, or used to, or is a vendor or competitor.

If you’re lucky, the conversation may go like this:

Guy at Party: “So, what do you do?”

You: “I’m in marketing. Right now I’m looking for a director-level position in a large Bay Area food or beverage company like Clif Bar, Peet’s, Ghirardelli or Jamba Juice – something like that.”

Him: “Oh, my friend Cheryl used to work in the Ghirardelli corporate office, although now she’s at See’s in South San Francisco. I could introduce you to her. They’re not hiring, though.”

You: “Well that’s perfect, actually, I’d love to talk with her about her experiences in both of those companies. If you’d like to introduce me, that would be great! Thanks so much!”

Take advantage of the more relaxed pace to line up coffee dates and informational interviews.

Get some exercise. It’s easy to get discouraged if you’re between jobs or unhappy in your current job. Exercise helps keep your mood upbeat and your energy level high.

Plan some time off, but otherwise commit to a steady schedule. Even if you’re employed and can only spend a couple hours on the weekend, make commitments to yourself and keep them. Buddy up with a friend, or join a job search club like one of the California EDD’s Experience Unlimited groups. Find sources of structure and accountability.

If your resume and LinkedIn profile aren’t the best they can be, now is the time to get them in shape. If you need help, realize that good resume writers / career coaches are often unavailable on short notice, especially during their busy season, August through October. Shop around now so you can choose a pro on the basis of quality and rapport, not short-notice availability or quick turnaround.

The same goes for interview preparation. An interview is like an exam where an “A” is worth thousands of dollars. Don’t just cram at the last minute. Read books and/or get coaching well ahead of time, so a “pop quiz” (a phone screening) won’t catch you unprepared.

Don’t buy into myths and excuses. The truth is, a great new job offer can come at any time of year.

How to Get Past the Gatekeeper to the Hiring Manager

How to Get Past the Gatekeeper to the Hiring ManagerMost job seekers send their resume to Human Resources. That’s a good way not to get a job.

Human Resources is the gatekeeper. Their job is to take in large numbers of resumes, and screen most of them out.

The person you really want to reach is the hiring manager – the person who will be your boss once you’re hired.

Let’s say you want to apply to a posted position at XYZ Media. Go ahead and apply to HR as directed, but also send your resume and cover letter to the hiring manager – and maybe even make a follow-up phone call, unless the ad specifically forbids it.

The tricky part is that the posting doesn’t list this person’s name. How can you find him or her? Here are some clever strategies.

(I’d like to thank the authors of Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters 3.0 the CareeRealism blog for excellent ideas that I’ve combined with my own to make this list.)

  1. See if they list their executives on their website. Many companies do. You may want to call (see below) to verify that the information is up to date.
  2. Simply call the company and ask the receptionist, in a polite but matter-of-fact tone, “Can you please tell me the name of the person in charge of ________?” (Fill in the blank with the department you would be working in.) A more stealthy tactic employed by some job seekers is to “accidentally” call the wrong department, apologize, ask for the correct number and go from there.
  3. In LinkedIn, do an advanced search. Type in the hiring manager’s likely title, the name of the company, and any other information you know.
  4. See if you have any LinkedIn connections who might know the manager’s name.
  5. Do an advanced Google search. (You get there by clicking the little “gear” icon on any page of search results.) Let’s say you want to find the VP of Sales. Fill in the blanks as follows. All these words: “XYZ Media” sales – This exact word or phrase:  “vice president” – None of these words:  free. (By eliminating the word “free” you eliminate junk sites such as resume distribution services.)
  6. Search online business directories such as Standard & Poor’s (“S&P”) or Manta. Such directories are usually somewhat out of date, so try to verify the information elsewhere.
  7. Set up a Google Alert for the job you want and see what you can find on the Internet using a keyword string such as: Marketing Manager position available XYZ Inc. The job may be circulating on social media. If you find it, see if you can connect with the person who posted it. They may be able to tell you who the hiring manager is.
  8. In LinkedIn, try to get new connections (as opposed to the existing connections mentioned in item #4 above) at your target company who have positions related to the one you’re interested in. They may be able to tell you who the manager is. Warning: When inviting strangers to connect with you, you run the risk of someone clicking “I don’t know this person,” which could get you restricted from LinkedIn. To be safe, only invite people to whom you can get an introduction, or those with whom you share a LinkedIn Group that you can refer to in your invitation message. (Join one of their Groups if necessary.) Many or most recipients may ignore your invitation, but all it takes is one person deciding to be helpful.

In the end, if you have a name but you’re not sure it’s the right person, go ahead and send your letter and resume to that person. If you’re wrong, there’s a good chance your resume will be forwarded to the right person.

What if you find the name but nobody wants to give you their email address? And what can you do to ensure the hiring manager actually reads the resume rather than just forwarding it to Human Resources? Read the followup post for tips!

Finally, a word about overall job search strategy:

The ideas above can help you with the reactive aspect of your job search (responding to posted openings). For most job seekers it’s more important to do proactive search, by identifying target companies and networking around and within them before a job even opens up. If you do that, you may already know the hiring manager when an opening occurs – and in fact, she or he might call you!