I have my eye on a growing company here in my city. They have posted a number of job openings but I haven't applied through the Black Hole channel yet because I want to make a more direct approach.
I have a friend who works in the company. He said he would walk my resume into HR but I'm wondering whether I'd be better off sending a Pain Letter to my own hiring manager instead.
I have heard that a "friend inside the company" is not necessarily my best approach to a hiring manager I want to reach. I went to a job-search workshop where the speaker said "Never give your resume to a "friend inside the company." Now I'm conflicted.
What do you recommend?
The best channel to employ as you approach a prospective employer or client is the channel built on the strongest connection.
A friend who works for one of your target employers can be a terrific conduit between you and your hiring manager, but only if five things true.
In order to be your best path to your hiring manager, your friend must know you and your work well and be personally credible. That's a tall order, right there!
If you know your friend inside the company very well and he or she can recommend you credibly and enthusiastically, that's good.
However, in order to represent the strongest channel for you as you approach your target employer, your friend must also know your specific hiring manager (department manager) well and be credible with him or her.
Beyond that, your friend must be comfortable bringing your resume straight to that hiring manager (not to HR) and chatting with the hiring manager about you.
You know how confident and capable a communicator your friend is. Is he or a better emissary for you than you'd be for yourself using a Pain Letter?
Many of our friends are great people but they don't meet all five of these requirements to be your best ambassador:
1. Your friend knows you well and can vouch for you.
2. They know your work.
3. They personally know the department manager you'd work for in their company (your hiring manager).
4. They are comfortable bringing your resume directly to your hiring manager, chatting with him or about you and recommending you.
5. They are credible inside their organization in general and with your specific hiring manager in particular.
You can ask your friend "Since I'm a Purchasing Agent, I'd be in the Procurement department if I came to work for your company. Do you know your Procurement Manager well?"
You can assess the strength of that bond by listening to your friend.
It is extremely rare to find all five of these conditions unless your friend works for a very small company -- that's why friends-inside-companies are seldom your best job-search channel.
Most often when you give your resume to a friend inside a company, they bring your resume to HR and hand it someone or leave it on someone's desk. That's not very helpful!
It's just another entry point into the same gaping Black Hole recruiting funnel you were trying to avoid.
If you do not feel confident in your gut that your friend will sing your song loudly and proudly to your hiring manager -- someone with whom your friend is already well-acquainted and more importantly, credible -- then a Pain Letter is your best option.
You can find your hiring manager on LinkedIn and construct a pithy Pain Letter specifically for him or her, based in part on your friend's insights into your target hiring manager's most likely and annoying type of Business Pain.
The reason Pain Letters work as job-search tools is that few of us get recognition or acknowledgment from anyone in our lives, much less from strangers outside our company walls.
If your friend cannot carry your flag well enough to build the same excitement in a hiring manager's heart that your Pain Letter will create as your hiring manager reads it, then leave your friend out of it and take the direct approach through the mail room to your hiring manager's desk.
All the best to you Norah!
Source : http://www.forbes.com/