I interviewed David Perry, an accomplished recruiter, author of “Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters,” and my partner in “inplacement” training for displaced employees, to find new, unconventional ways for you to find a job.
David’s tips follow. They’re as effective as they are interesting, so pick at least one and take action today …
1) Send an “Over-qualified” Letter
Yes, that’s right, tell employers you are OVER-qualified for their job opening. This will surely get their attention.
Perry suggests that you send your resume with a cover letter that says, “It will appear from my resume that I’m over-qualified for the job you advertised, so let me tell you why you should interview me and consider ‘super-sizing’ your opportunity.” Then, include a bulleted list of 3-5 benefits you think they might be interested in. Close your letter with language like, “I am old enough to have learned from my mistakes, so my experience will save you money in the long-run. In a few months or years you’ll need to train a more-junior employee to upgrade their knowledge, but I come fully equipped to do the next job, too.”
When in doubt, send this letter to a company that’s not atop your most-wanted list, so any rejection won’t sting.
2) Call Human Resources
“I know this sounds like heresy, but there’s method in my madness,” says Perry. Call the personnel department of the companies on your target list. Ask their HR manager what recruiting firm they use.
Why? For two important reasons.
First, any HR person will immediately ask why you want to know. Answer, “I’ve been to your Web site and I see that you’re not looking for someone with my skill set now, but the recruiting agency you use may be dealing with other firms who could use my skills -- so I guess I’m looking for a recommendation from you.”
After they get over the compliment, they will likely ask you about your skills and experience, in which case you should tell them, “I didn’t call looking for a back door into your company, but if you want to have a cup of coffee, I’d be happy to share my achievements with you.”
Second, if they don’t press you for an interview, insist on knowing whom they use and why. “HR managers love saving money on fees, so they may try to hire you directly,” says Perry.
Sending a newspaper or magazine article to a hiring manager with a simple note like: “I thought you might be interested in this …” is a great door opener.
“The trick is to find an article that’s truly helpful to them in their work. You can uncover needs by searching Google for position papers they may have presented or to see what their competitors are announcing -- and then let them know. I know several people who have landed great jobs doing this,” says Perry.
You can find articles by searching the Web editions of magazines and newspapers. Also, try Google Alerts to keep updated on subjects of interest to your targeted employers: Google.com/Alerts.
“I find that mailed photocopies of articles work best because most people simply use email. Also, a hard copy will stay on a recipient’s desk longer and it may get passed on to other staff members who could be hiring,” advises Perry.
In the 20th century, you needed a business card. Now, you need a Web site.
Be sure to make yours look professional. If you’re not artistic, visit TemplateMonster.com and buy a ready-to-go site layout for $20-$60.
“Customize your site to fit your needs, or pay someone to do it for you. Use a Web site design that matches the industry you want to go into,” says Perry.
You can hire a good Web designer inexpensively at Guru.com or RentaCoder.com. Can’t afford one? Consider setting up a free blog site at Blogger.com.
Include any articles you have written, summaries of successful projects, case studies, testimonials from past clients/managers -- anything that qualifies you for your target job. Finally, make sure to include your contact information, so employers can call or email you directly.
“Your site’s content should focus on your industry knowledge and your ability to do the job you want to be hired for,” advises Perry. “Make it easy and compelling for employers to contact you -- and they will.”