Communicating Your Way into a New Position

by Brian Skory

Company XYZ was looking for a .NET developer. After posting a job description on a couple of job boards, the hiring manger soon had a pile of resumes that would take him well into the next two weeks to review.

Meanwhile, Steve went to his local .NET user group meeting and, while striking up conversation over pizza with another member, happened to mention that he was seeking a .NET development position. In between bites, the fellow user group member commented that his company was looking for a .NET developer. Some further conversation ensued and it was determined that Steve was actually a pretty good match for the position. The fellow user group member personally connected Steve up with the hiring manager. The hiring manager, agreeing that Steve was a good match, happily swept the stack of resumes into his recycle bin and hired Steve.

Andrew was at that user group meeting as well—and he, too, was looking for a .NET position. But Andrew didn’t mention it to anyone. He was responding to the job ads and competing with lots and lots of other candidates who were doing the same.

What’s the moral of this story? Well, there are two, actually. The first moral is that personal introductions can sometimes be far more effective than an impersonal response to a job ad. But how do you get those? Well, that’s the second moral of the story: when looking for a job, get out there and let lots and lots of people know that you are looking. Just a few good ideas for this:

  • Go to your local User Group meetings and let people know that you are looking.
  • Post on your Facebook and LinkedIn what type of position you are looking for.
  • Send off an email to any recruiters you’ve worked with in the past and let them know you are back on the market.
  • Put in a call or an e-mail to past co-workers and bosses and let them know that you are seeking a new position.

A bit of creative thought should generate another dozen opportunities to personally let people know what you are looking for. The point is simply to start communicating to people—lots of people—that you are searching for that particular position.

It’s amazing how often I hear of someone eventually running into that person who responds with those oh so welcome words, "Hey! I know someone you should talk to!" Give it a try the next time you’re looking for that next career opportunity.

As always, we're interested in hearing how your job search is going. Feel free to contact us.

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