A client of mine recently sent me this question:
I just found a few positions at a company I want to work for and I even know two people who work there. I was thinking of shooting the two people my resume. Is that what I should do next?
Want the short answer? No!
But let me be a little more helpful. Never, never, ever, ever send your resume alone when applying to a job (unless the company limits you to a strict template) or when networking for someone’s help.
Here’s a better way to handle it:
- Apply via the company website – with your Candidate Packet– even if you will network at the same time. Why? You need to be in the company’s system, to respect the work of HR and any recruiters involved, and to be able to tell your network contacts that you have applied.
- Write a personalized letter to each of your network contacts, attaching the full cover letter/resume that you’ve already submitted to the company. Your letter to them should be professional and formatted like a business letter so the contact can forward your entire e-mail to the hiring manager or recruiter. Leave out any personal comments such as thanking them for the great party a few weeks ago or sharing that you just broke up with your girlfriend or boyfriend. In your letter, be sure to ask directly for what you would like them to do. For example: “May I ask you to please forward my credentials to the hiring manager and provide a recommendation?”
- Follow up with your contacts seven working days later. Count that as follow upNo. 1. Repeat that two more times – a total of three follow-ups – either via email or telephone.
- Use LinkedIn to try to identify the hiring manager and any others who work in that department and begin a dialogue with them.