Rule #6 Multiply The Openings You Uncover By A Minimum of 10 Times.
Thanks to the Internet, all published openings can now be at your fingertips. Here's how to respond to them.We recommend that you gain exposure to as many advertised openings as possible and that you tailor your message to the requirements of most advertisements.
One way to increase your number of opportunities is to understand the process of upgrading or downgrading ads. For example, a company advertising a Vice President position may be willing to hire an Assistant Vice President or Director, who could move up to Vice President within a year. After all, it isn't so much the title they are after as the skills and talent. That's an example of downgrading.
By the same token, a firm advertising for a Plant Manager might be persuaded to hire a VP of Manufacturing, provided someone could persuade them such a move would be cost efficient and give added capabilities. That's an upgrade.
In addition to downgrading and upgrading, advertised openings can also be used as signals of private openings in other areas of the company. This is called sidegrading.
If, for instance, you see a company hiring a number of salespeople, that's a fairly reliable indicator that they are also hiring people in sales administration, production and other areas. This approach can be very effective for people at lower levels who see openings for senior level positions in their field. It is important to write to the "functional chief" when upgrading, downgrading or sidegrading. HR will typically be the last to know of an emerging job (except in HR).
Did you ever see an ad and feel "that describes me exactly"? Well, as a general rule, you should follow up on every ad for which you are well qualified. Very few of your competitors will do this. At the very least, it will improve your odds for getting your credentials "looked at."
You should also keep in mind that using "letters" alone and following up can help your response rate. Employers who must sift through many resumes tend to start by screening out non-qualifiers. And, since resumes provide more facts, they can sometimes work against you. For this reason, when answering ads of special interest, use a strong letter tailored to the requirements of the position.
Sometimes a handwritten note attached to your resume can be effective. This is advisable when there are relatively few points you wish to communicate. For example, when an employer has a few key requirements, and they can be restated on a short note to reinforce your qualifications.
Employers rarely find the perfect candidate. So, try to compensate for any shortfall on credentials through an expression of enthusiasm, or by explaining why you might be particularly well qualified for other reasons. Whatever your basis for selecting an advertisement, let the employer know why you selected it.
Creative response approachesA number of people have had success using the following approaches:
One is to get additional information, beyond what was in the ad, and use it in your response. This can be developed by reviewing product literature, websites, annual reports, or newspaper articles. Demonstrating industry knowledge works better than anything else.
Another technique is to develop third party contacts with employees in the company before responding. Easiest to befriend are sales and marketing managers, public relations staffers, or top level executives. Then, you can consider mentioning their name in your correspondence.
Privacy issues and the InternetOnce your resume is posted on any number of major Internet job boards, you have no idea of the people who may have access to viewing your material. Almost all major job boards make use of some form of resume scanning software. They sell access to their database of resumes to employers looking for candidates. Since every word in your resume is scannable, someone who uses their services might uncover your resume. This is just one more reason for using short resumes, materials that don't reveal anything unnecessary... on the Internet. Some of the major job boards include the following: