The Key to Job Hunting Success:
Get 'em Before They Come to Their Senses
before they come to their senses?
I implying that you're no good, and that
only a supremely high level of fool will hire you?
Not this time.
I am saying is that your best shot at landing a job comes if
are the first and only person interviewing for the job.
of job openings are never advertised. A small percentage are
filled by recruiters, either retained or contingent. The
remainder are filled with people they know, or people who find a way to
get themselves known.
A Monsterboard ad for a CEO will draw 400 to
800 applicants within two days. Some of them will probably be
closer in industry fit, salary range, or level of responsibility than
If I conduct a retained search, I'll
people who are already working in my client's field, interview 10 of
them, and present five to my client. Normally, all five will come from
my client's industry, and be well-qualified for the position. The
chance that you'll make it to that final five (let alone, be selected
to get the job) is probably pretty low.
In either of these cases,
the odds don't sound good for you unless you are a perfect fit for the
position. In the rare case that you are, you'll still be
lot of competition.
However, we've seen lots of cases where the
missile builder brings in an engineering director who's been making
factory motion control units. With the numbers I'm showing
couldn't they have found a missile specialist, or at least a tank guy?
they could have, but Fred Phredd, the motion control engineering
director, found a way to get in front of Phelicia Phoxy, the Chief
Operating Officer at Errant MIssiles, LLC, before the company had even
decided to budget for the new position. They were just thinking about
the idea, vaguely, when a letter from Fred landed on Phoxy's
desk. She met him for lunch, and she was impressed.
other engineering executive she had ever known was a nerd at heart -
they had all been brilliant engineers, but they didn't know how to
manage people. It was quickly obvious that Fred knew how to
connect with people. Plus, he understood project management,
had a solid background in electromechanical engineering, including a
Master's Degree from Cal Tech.
A month later, Fred was hired.
And he probably wouldn't have been had he waited for them to advertise
the job or retain a search firm for it.
An uncommon occurrence? We all know that this happens all the
the simple answer is, use networking and direct mail so you can get
there before anyone else does - get 'em before they come to their