A few weeks ago one of my clients called me in frustration. He just couldn’t find a way to move forward with his career in his current company. He decided to take my advice and expand his network to find a job that would better use his skills. He decided to become a member of a working committee of his professional association to build strong connections. He was frustrated with that too. He applied to be a member of the committee and never got a call back. I asked him how many times he tried. His reply: once.
Once? How many times do we get something we really want on the first try? He forgot the power of persistence – that unrelenting pursuit to get what you want. I suggested he just try again and again and again using different approaches. And, I suggested he talk to members on committees to find out what they did to get their committee roles.
The first time I remember using the power of persistence was when I decided early in my career that I wanted to be a consultant. A friend of mine Mary worked at a consulting firm and said I constantly asked her about openings at her company. (I don’t remember that.) But, when a job opened up in her unit, she forwarded my resume directly to the hiring manager and helped me prep for the interview. I got that job and it launched my career in a completely different direction. I’ll never forget that when I really want something, the power of persistence will help me achieve it.
You’ve submitted a resume for an advertised position. You are fully qualified for it and it’s a job you really want. But, here you are again waiting, waiting and growing more and more concerned that you aren’t going to get a call for an interview. You know that there are many qualified candidates in the marketplace. So, what can you do differently to land an interview this time?
Try the Send a Solution approach – sending a letter or e-mail directly to the hiring manager telling them exactly how you can help them solve their problems with your expertise. The closer you are to addressing ways you can help them make or save money will increase your odds of getting an interview.
In recent months, a growing number of my clients are getting follow-up e-mails from the internal and external recruiters, who conducted the initial phone interview, asking them to respond to specific questions. And, they request that those responses be e-mailed back to them in writing.
Behind the scenes, this often means the hiring manager is interested in your resume, has qualified candidates but needs more detailed information about your background and experience before deciding whether to interview you face-to-face.
As a candidate, this request is ideal. You get the opportunity to take the time to carefully craft your responses. Consider them as an addendum to your resume.
- Give them solid proof of your experience by including specific examples.
- State the result first then briefly indicate how you achieved it.
- Keep your responses short and to the point.
And remember, this is also gives them an example of your written communication skills. So take the time to carefully proof-read and spell check your responses before e-mailing them.
Review these questions carefully when you prepare for your subsequent interview. They may indicate what’s really important to the hiring manager too.
And, finally, think about whether you should add this information upfront in your resume.