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Job Magician Direct Mail Success Stories –
In the Dour Early Months of 2009

  • Yes, job hunting via direct mail can be effective.
  • Two senior execs  with backgrounds in industries absolutely ravaged by today’s economy have both found jobs in the first few sour, dour months of 2009, when more people are getting kicked out the door than being invited in for interviews, by using direct mail.
I’m not a career counselor, but I do counsel friends for free – it’s kind of a hobby, as is Job Magician (my retained searches pay the bills).  At any given time, I’ll be advising two or three friends.

Here’s how a couple of friends I've been counseling recently found new jobs:

Financial Services Exec’s Success with Direct Mail.  For the past year, I’ve been advising one executive, an accomplished, $500K+ professional in the betroubled financial services industry. He’s well-connected, and has been able to get numerous networking meetings. He’s also on the radar screens of many retained search firms, and has been a candidate for half a dozen retained searches in the past year, each time coming in a frustrating second or third.

[Time out from this scintillating story:  although a good portion of the most desirable, peach jobs are filled by retained search firms (as well some of the stinker jobs that no one wants), being a candidate for a retained search has an inherent disadvantage:  the search firm will be presenting you along with two to five other candidates.  Generally all of them will have experience in the client’s industry and be well-qualified.  One major advantage of direct mail is that if your resume lands on the hiring manager’s desk before a retained firm is engaged to fill the position, they may decide to interview you before retaining a search firm.  You will have no competition.]

Back to the scintillating story:  I nagged this guy over a year’s time to direct mail his resume to companies in his industry. He resisted, primarily because he insisted it cheapened him in the marketplace, and instead concentrated on getting introductions. He sputtered on, I continued to nag, and finally, quite discouraged and terrified by a continually-eroding economy, he broke down in January and decided to do a direct mailing. He determined that there were about 400 companies in the country that could afford him, and within a couple of  weeks, he had mailed out 400 resumes. 

He got three responses ... and one ideal job offer. One of his three responses came from a company located in an idyllic setting – and, although he was happy where he was living, he found their location to be even more desirable. Several hours into his interview, the CEO of this company, the 11th-largest in his industry, simply asked, "When can you start?"

  • Instantly email your resume to all major Retained Search Firms
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Manufacturing Exec in a Declining Industry.  Another friend, unemployed for nine months, had success that stunned me. He had an MBA from a top-five school along with domestic and international manufacturing experience in a declining industry, known for its smelly, dingy factories. He had tried in vain to get out of the industry, and had worked extremely hard to get into nouveau technology industries such as renewable energy providers. Because of family issues, he was resisting relocation.

By coincidence, a year ago, I had met the CEO of a company occupying a unique, recession-proof niche in his industry. Although the company was only medium-sized, it had a tremendous reputation among those who were aware of its existence. It was one of the few companies in his industry that had a solid growth record (as well as nice-smelling manufacturing plants). Having had only a brief meeting with their CEO, I didn’t feel like I was the right person to introduce him, so I suggested that if he couldn’t find someone well-connected to introduce him, that he simply mail the CEO a letter.

He wasn’t enthralled with the company’s location, which was across the state, well out of commuting range, but he did send a letter to the CEO, almost on a lark.  To the surprise of both of us, the CEO called him in for a I-have-nothing-going-on-but-I’d-like-to-meet-you-no-agenda-meeting.  Soon after the meeting, the CEO called back to tell him they were working on the acquisition of a new company, which by the great will of our divine creator happened to be headquartered 30 minutes from his home.  After waiting out the 3-month acquisition process, he was hired to be the president of this new acquisition in January.
The amazing part of his story is that he defied one of Job Magician’s great dictums: rather than send out millions of letters, he sent out only a handful, but one of them happened to land on the right desk at just the right time (click here to read Job Magician’s Dictums for Direct Mail Success)




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