It’s time to face facts. Submitting your resume online with hundreds of other candidates is not the best way to get in the door for an interview. In a competitive market, you can get lost in a sea of resumes. You need to access the back door to increase your chance of getting an interview. I’ll share my insider’s tips on accessing the back door to get interviews.
- Personal introduction to the hiring manager.
Working your network to gain an introduction to the hiring manager is the golden ticket. Using this method, you bypass the initial screening process and advance right to an interview with the decision maker. Be ready with your sharply-written and well-rehearsed mini-pitch. Express your gratitude to the hiring manager for talking with you (or reading your email, if it is an email introduction) and don’t forget to thank the person who connected you.
- Referral from a company employee.
Most employers with an applicant tracking system have the ability to rate internally-referred candidates higher than others. Some internal referrals are automatically granted a courtesy interview. Do your best to source a contact within the target company so you can garner an internal referral. Use the power of LinkedIn to multiply your connections.
- Recommendation from a key contact at the target employer’s major client or partner.
If you know employees who work for major clients or partners of your target, they can help. They may not want to infringe upon a relationship by setting up an introduction. However, ask if they would write a personal recommendation email to their contact at the target company – with your resume attached of course.
- Start as a temporary worker.
This is not an option for everyone. However, if you are a recent graduate or currently without a job, this could be a great way to gain a full access pass to upcoming opportunities. Even, if you are working outside your occupation or desired department, this can be a short path to the right job. When you are working on-site, you can form relationships and get the inside track on new opportunities.
Don’t underestimate the muscle of a back door search method. Reallocate your job search time to spend more time uncovering and leveraging valuable contacts. Enter through the back door and you’ll likely decrease the time it takes to land a job. Evaluate and select the back door search methods that are most appropriate for you. In a short amount of time, your ongoing networking efforts will pay off with interviews gained through these very effective methods.