Land the job before it's posted

How to land a job before it’s even posted

Karen Geier|

In our hyper-connected society, there are more ways than ever to find out about jobs, including social media and the web. It seems like when you see a posting for companies you admire, they are rarely something you’re a fit for. Some roles at these companies never even make the posting stage, and instead are filled by offline connections, so you’re never even aware that they have any.

Traditional wisdom is that if you send your resume to the general application file, you’ll never hear anything. Is there really an effective way to reach the HR department at a company you wish to work for?

We asked Sarah Paul, Director of Human Resources at Govan Brown Construction Managers for some tips to reaching your dream company and at least getting the interview.

Sarah told us, “One dirty little secret some companies use to minimize hiring costs is to not see or select candidates who are sent through a recruiter when not solicited, because it costs 25% of that person’s salary. If candidates approach hiring managers and HR reps directly, they could stand a higher chance of being selected.”

How do you contact these companies, or the hiring managers? “You can start by telling your friends and business associates you’re looking for a connection to that company. You will be surprised how often you can find some in that way” says Paul. “If the person who connects you to the company doesn’t know the hiring manager or the HR representative directly, you can always ask them to check the directory. Be bold. It’s your career.”

Often, you can find out the contact information from other job postings for the same company. You can look the company name up, and see if there is a contact name or e-mail. Send off a personalized resume, and try to follow-up with them soon after.

Lastly, one of the best ways to find out what you need is the lowest tech option: The phone. Most companies have a published phone number. If you’re very nice to the receptionist, you can find out the Human Resources person’s name and contact information so you can get your resume in front of them as soon as possible to be considered for future roles.

“If you call me before I’ve posted a role, I might not even post it, if you’re a strong enough candidate. At the very least, you can get in before anyone else for an interview” says Paul.

In job searches, sometimes just the act of being clever and proactive can set you above the crowd. Doing a little extra leg work to get to the right people can pay off in roles that might never make it to the posting stage at the company of your dreams.

Category: Job Search Strategies
  • Salvacion

    Your tip are indeed helpful… but the common scenario in the hiring process are really connections. I got disappointed in the system, since even how qualified n proactive the one given the chance, must or got to have dealings with the higher ranks or staffs. One more they posted publicly, then hiring is open to internal hiring, so a misconcept on the part of the job seeker, so a waste of time too. But still hoping to grab one if ever… Big thanks again…

  • Michael Ragan

    This system will work… if you put in the volume. I don’t think this article should be catered exclusively to your “dream company” because there may simply be no roles open at the time. That will require some patience. If you want a job that can make you qualified or land you that dream job, do yourself a favour and use the system mentioned above on several companies in order to maximize your chances of getting a good job. Someone who was in a similar position to you will sense your determination and give you a shot.

  • C.y. Lim

    Hi Karen, there is this saying: Talk is cheap. It is easy to pontificate.

  • Matt

    I have gotten every job since my first one simply through networking. This is also how I landed jobs/customers when I ran a window cleaning business. People want to hire people who are good networkers for almost every job there is. Find a job you’re passionate about and let your passion shine through. Open as many options as you can and don’t settle for a job you know you wont like or grow from. Save and invest your money so you aren’t trapped. Networking is the best way to get jobs and it’s good to see Workopolis finally produce a decent article on this.