I have changed my approach to employers. I know I’m taking a risk, but I really believe what you teach, that succumbing to “the HR screen” almost always diminishes someone’s chances of getting in the door. Here’s what I did — a recent e-mail thread is below. If you print this, I’d love to hear from other readers about whether they’ve done something like this or whether they would. And if they’ve done it, what were the results? Whatever happens with getting interviews, I believe the added pay-off is that I’m saving myself from lots of wasted time. Thanks.
E-mail to employer:
Hope this message finds you well. Understand your department is looking for an energetic go-getter to join the team.
You’ll have to pardon my unorthodox approach to job hunting. I also dabbled in the library sciences for a time, which is how I got your contact information.
Good news for you: My career is focused on PR and internal/employee communications, working with high-tech companies like [company 1] and [company 2].
With regards to grabbing audiences by effective storytelling, I can do both in the written word (blogs) and via social media (Twitter). [links to specific posts omitted here]
If it’s not you, who is the hiring manager I should contact?
Hey [job seeker],
This isn’t a role in my team. The best way to route your resume to the right person is to apply via the careers section on [company].com.
Answer to employer:
Thanks for the quick response, but there’s no way I’ll apply through the HR portal — I’ll never stand a chance. That’s why I contacted you in the first place! Please see:
Ask the Headhunter – Go around HR to get the job
Now you’ve done it! You’ve broken the rules and put yourself at risk of angering an employer! What insanity will job seekers reveal next?
I’m happy to put your questions up to the Ask The Headhunter community. We all get frustrated with the job application labyrinth, but most people enter blindfolded anyway. We also know few come back out with a job.
This reader doesn’t say what success they’ve had. I’m hoping we hear more either here in the discussion or via e-mail. If the latter, I promise to report back.
Is this insanity, or a smart job seeker’s last stand?
Dear readers: Have you ever done what this reader did? If not, would you? If you have resisted instructions to “apply through the machine” when you’re trying to deal directly with the hiring manager, how did you try to get in the door? What was the outcome?