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Job Magician The Key to Job Hunting Success:  
Get 'em Before They Come to Their Senses

Get'em before they come to their senses?

Am I implying that you're no good, and that only a supremely high level of fool will hire you?

No. Not this time.

What I am saying is that your best shot at landing a job comes if  you are the first and only person interviewing for the job. 

75% of job openings are never advertised.  A small percentage are filled by recruiters, either retained or contingent.  The remainder are filled with people they know, or people who find a way to get themselves known.

  • A Monsterboard ad for a CEO will draw 400 to 800 applicants within two days.  Some of them will probably be closer in industry fit, salary range, or level of responsibility than are you.
  • If I conduct a retained search, I'll contact  200 people who are already working in my client's field, interview 10 of them, and present five to my client. Normally, all five will come from my client's industry, and be well-qualified for the position. The chance that you'll make it to that final five (let alone, be selected to get the job) is probably pretty low.

In either of these cases, the odds don't sound good for you unless you are a perfect fit for the position.  In the rare case that you are, you'll still be facing a lot of competition.
However, we've seen lots of cases where the missile builder brings in an engineering director who's been making factory motion control units.  With the numbers I'm showing you, couldn't they have found a missile specialist, or at least a tank guy?

Perhaps they could have, but Fred Phredd, the motion control engineering director, found a way to get in front of Phelicia Phoxy, the Chief Operating Officer at Errant MIssiles, LLC, before the company had even decided to budget for the new position. They were just thinking about the idea, vaguely, when a letter from Fred landed on Phoxy's desk.  She met him for lunch, and she was impressed.

Every other engineering executive she had ever known was a nerd at heart - they had all been brilliant engineers, but they didn't know how to manage people.  It was quickly obvious that Fred knew how to connect with people.  Plus, he understood project management, and had a solid background in electromechanical engineering, including a Master's Degree from Cal Tech.

A month later, Fred was hired.  And he probably wouldn't have been had he waited for them to advertise the job or retain a search firm for it.

An uncommon occurrence?  We all know that this happens all the time.

So the simple answer is, use networking and direct mail so you can get there before anyone else does - get 'em before they come to their senses.





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