In the July 20, 2010 Ask The Headhunter Newsletter, a reader asks:
You have said that the key to a successful job search is to contact the person you would work for within an organization, and to show how you can help out. How can I find the manager who has the problems I’ll be able to solve?
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In the newsletter I suggest that your challenge as a job hunter is not to apply for lots of open jobs. It’s to carefully target the manager whom you can help the most.
To find a manager who really needs you, it’s best to triangulate. That is, talk to people who know and work for managers who may be relevant to your job search. This includes less obvious contacts, like a company’s customers and vendors.
But the point is to talk shop. Don’t ask for job leads — that’s like asking for an introduction to the personnel office!
Getting to the hiring manager is a lot of hard work. But so is that job you want, right? (Get it?)
How can you do some of the key research, and how do you get ready to meet the people who can lead you to the manager? Two sections of How Can I Change Careers? deal specifically with these issues. (This PDF book is not just for career changers; it’s for anyone who wants to get an edge on changing jobs.) A section about how to “Put a Free Sample in Your Resume” helps you show the manager how you’ll bring profit to the bottom line.
How do you get to the hiring manager? What methods have you used that helped you get past the teeming hordes of job hunters — so you could talk directly to the manager (or to someone very close to the manager)?