About a year ago I shared with you “How to Support Someone Who Wants to Leave Your Organization.”

This Culture Tip is the other side of this coin and has been a longtime coming.  Over the years many people have reached out to me when they were looking to transition.  I’m not a recruiter, nor a career matchmaker–there are lots of great people out there who do that work.  Though as someone who has both looked for a job I love, and looked for employees who would be a great fit, this has been one of the ways that I try to “give back.” Due to what I’m up to in 2018, I’ll be limiting these exchanges.

Here’s the Culture Tip that captures the advice I give on how to find a job you love:

  • Don’t look for a job online. Don’t apply for a job online.  Your resume simply becomes one of many and you’re indistinguishable.  Organizations are often looking for team members who are proactive, innovative and overall likeable people.  This process helps you demonstrate these qualities, while also standing out from the herd.
  • Instead of looking online, pick 10-50 organizations you would like to work for based on geography, size, industry, reputation, opportunity–LinkedIn has a plethora of this information. Also consider fast growth organizations.
  • Research to determine which department you would be a good fit for, as well as the name and email of the person who heads up that department–THESE are the decision makers.
  • Create a marketing piece about yourself that includes (note the picture for an example–this package led to being hired for an extraordinary job that wasn’t posted):
    • Well designed, well edited one page resume
    • Personalized, thoughtful, slightly witty (make me smile) one page cover letter–also well designed and well edited—and include three bullets on the tangible reasons why you’re a great hire for their organization. Include at the end your request to schedule a 20-minute phone call to learn more about their organization and their department.  Include a sincere compliment (received a recent award? Known in the industry as X?)  Do you have any common ground with the decision maker? (You may find this on Linkedin–don’t go to FaceBook or it feels stalker-ish.)
    • Kick booty letter of recommendation or references
    • Give something of value without it being too much, where it would feel manipulative or like a bribe…share an excellent article or book related to the industry or the role of the department, a recipe, a top ten list, a white paper, an extraordinary meaningful magnetic quote…
    • Include something handwritten–perhaps a simple post-it note
    • Create your package so that it can be mailed–packages get opened. Be thoughtful and if possible innovative with your packaging.
    • Think about your timing…holidays?
    • Put your 10-50 packages in the mail!
  • Write thoughtful, short, simple welcoming scripts for connecting and following up on LinkedIn, followed up by phone and then email. Personalize and customize as appropriate.  Again, think about your timing and cadence of sending out this communication. Track it.
  • After your last communication, wait a week, then send one more email. If no response, let it be, and find another organization to approach.
  • When you get the 20-minute exchange scheduled, be really thoughtful about what you want to learn and share in those 20 minutes. Remember, interesting people are interested.  Don’t be nervous.  Organizations need great hires.  You want a great opportunity.  You’re simply looking to learn more and so are they.
    • Just for clarity sake, this process is meant to help you get interviews with organizations you would like to work for.  If you already have an interview with one of these organizations, no need to go through this process…

One “guerilla marketing” challenge that I would love to see someone try…

Send a Happy Birthday balloon bouquet to the decision maker – but not on their birthday.  Remember, no stalking.  You’ll have to come up with a witty phrase to put on the card.  Regardless, you will be memorable – especially as they respond to their co-workers’ well wishes.  You’re very likely to schedule a 20-minute exchange.

If you do take on the Balloon-o-gram challenge with one of your prospective employers, and you let me know how it goes*, I’ll send you a copy of Culture Works–which you could even leverage as your gift to your next prospect 😉

*(Limited to the first three people I hear from…)