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Using a Person-to-Person Approach in Your Job Search

The person-to-person approach to job searching de-emphasizes technology and can be effective in a few scenarios. For example, your exclusion rate from interview offers may be high when the employer uses online recruiting tools. Interview offers aren't appearing because you're not perceived as an A- or B-list candidate.

Remember that most jobs are found in small businesses. Many such businesses aren’t yet using modern job-search tools and will value your person-to-person approach.

When technology seems to always kick you to the curb during a job search, consider back-to-the-future strategies that are most advantageous to you. Play on your turf. Get personal:

  • Develop your own job leads. Perform substantial research and target your resume for a direct application.

  • Network to a referral-chain. Ask each of 20 or more people whom you call daily: “Who else should I be talking to?”

  • Contact the hiring manager directly. Follow up on job ads, but to diffuse the crushing competition attempt to figure out who the hiring manager is and contact that decision maker directly. You can even write a resume letter to that person, but do not mention the job ad.

    Mention that you’ve been researching companies where your excellent qualifications might be a good fit. If this “happy coincidence” causes the hiring manager to send your resume to the HR department, now it arrives from an important executive and will likely be examined.

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