- An internal candidate or referral candidate has been identified and the company wants to “test the waters” to see if a better candidate exists, or they need to comply with an HR policy that requires jobs to be posted.
- There is no job open today, but the company wants to fill their pipeline. For example, a company knows that during a normal year they will fill 3-4 Financial Analyst positions. Even though there is no current position open they may advertise to have a pool of applicants when they are needed.
- The job was filled but the posting was not removed from the website. I have heard of jobs still posted 4-5 months after being filled.
- Identify the position title of the person you would most likely report to at Acme if you were to be hired.
- Think of who you know at Acme. Were there ex-employees of Big Boom that have gone to new jobs at Acme? Do any of the vendors you worked with at Big Boom also sell to Acme? How about customers, if they bought Big Boom products they may have also purchased from Acme. Who do you know socially that works at Acme, i.e., church, PTA, neighborhood, soccer, and so on?
- If no one comes to mind readily, go to LinkedIn. Search your first-degree connections, if you don’t have any immediate connections at Acme look at your second-degree connections. Who is the common connection between you? Be mindful at this point you are only looking for a connection, not the hiring manager (that is later).
- Using your shared connection, contact the person at Acme Explosives. Explain that you are doing research on Acme and would like to know who the head of the Tech group is. This conversation may take some finesse and more than one contact, but you will eventually find who you are looking for.
- Now that you have the name it is time to show your talent. Make a call, explain that you are interested in the Three Fingered Explosive Tech position and would like to schedule a short informal meeting to talk about how they see this role developing. Further explain that you realize there are always intangibles in a job that don’t appear in a job posting and a short, 15-20 minute informal conversation would let you both know if you would be a viable candidate. Your challenge is to show the hiring manager that this short conversation can save the company the expense of processing and storing an application, reviewing the application and responding to the application.
Rick Christensen: Director, Career Transition Practice
Rick’s passion is coaching individuals through career transitions, developing career management strategies and in identifying and sharpening competencies to open doors to new opportunities. His efforts have assisted thousands of individuals achieve their full potential.