What to do when “What Got You Here, Will Not Get You Where You Want to Go.”

 Are you struggling to get interviews despite being a perfect match for an advertised job?
 Have you always been recruited out of another role?
 Is the lack of recruiter and HR response an unexpected dilemma?
 How are you going to crack the hidden job market to access 80% of opportunities?

make employers pay attention Today, employers demand perfect candidates. They accept nothing less than a prospect who checks all their boxes (until they get real or they change their criteria.) This means you cannot be their definition of a perfect (non-existent) solution. To overcome employer resistance, 1) you must capture attention from a hiring decision-maker 2) gain their respect and 3) cultivate their trust. Your job search will not advance without satisfying these requirements. Let’s get started.

Job search success depends on more than just being “linked” or in the database. It takes a relationship. People hire people, not resumes or raw credentials.

introduce you to the appropriate hiring decision-maker. Who do you need in your network? This varies by potential opportunity. Current employees are the best contacts; former employees, contractors, outside advisors, etc. can also open doors. You can also hire an agent to represent you, promote your relevant strengths and vouch for your cultural suitability. Before any strangers/outside candidates have a shot, companies first evaluate people they already know (e.g., current staff, former co-workers, previous candidates, etc.) plus recommendations from insiders who are known, liked and trusted. For an outsider, this looks like an impossible situation because traditional job search methods like applying, submitting a customized resume or crafting a crazy-good letter of interest rarely provoke a positive response from employers.

Start a dialog, encourage an interview and ultimately land an offer
1. Avoid the gatekeeper. Their purpose is to exclude you and guard the decision-maker against being assaulted with too many candidates. Their selection criteria tend to eliminate both unqualified and quality prospects. While a person is courteous and may appear to be supportive of your goal, their loyalty is not to you. Their own career advancement depends on how well they protect the hiring authority. Few HR have enough influence to accelerate your campaign. You are better off devoting your efforts to making direct contact with the hiring authority.
2. Do not rely more than a tiny bit on HR, recruiters, applications, and resume submissions. The best executive job search method is networking or word-of-mouth. No exceptions. Skip directly to interacting with a contact, especially a company employee or former employee/friend of the firm (consultant, outside advisor, etc.) Network Purposefully. (TM)
3. Your best way to have a chance to demonstrate your interest and show your qualifications is going directly to the individual who can hire you, your future manager. The next choice is someone who can introduce you to the appropriate hiring authority.
4. Clicking online for jobs is nearly useless so stop wasting your time and do not postpone the inevitable networking you must do. The first step is identifying who needs to know you.
5. Do not to wait for a perfect position to find you. There was a revolution in the executive job market. It started during the Great Recession and has continued to evolve quickly with technology advances and social media explosions. While recruiters you consider as professional friends helped you find jobs in the past, they are less likely to find your next job for you. Their role has changed. More than ever, it’s “don’t call us, we’ll call you.” Employers don’t pay for recruiting support routinely; there are many free resources available. Furthermore, recruiters are loyal to and exclusively work for their paying clients. Clients are employers, not job seekers. For their huge investment, employers demand that recruiters scour the universe and only deliver ideal candidates matching every one of their requirements. Mostly these dream candidates are employed in a similar position especially at competitors and are not actively seeking a new challenge. If this doesn’t describe you, you + recruiters are not a match. It ends there.
• Employers are risk-averse. Hiring someone who has already shown results is a safer choice than anyone who has not performed favorably in this capacity and proven their worth.
• Recruiters can only help you when they have an active purchase order matching your credentials. If your timing is good, you are very lucky. But if you count on it, you may find yourself looking like Rip Van Winkle.

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