Monday, July 27, 2009

How Networking Got Me An Interview!

It started when I reached out to my network via email and Facebook, telling my friends I was looking for another IT Manager position. A friend of a friend emailed me that she thought CompanyA was hiring. I checked their postings, and voila! There was a position that sounded ideal! Being a virtual rock star in all the skills listed in the req (I'm not beyond self-promotion while in job-search mode!) I was very interested. A quick check in my LinkedIn network and I found a friend (ContactA) who used to work for me now works at CompanyA, so she offered to submit my resume.

Now, it helps to have ContactA submit a resume, but in these days when zillions of resumes are getting submitted, it's really much better if you can get the name of the hiring manager. That's not usually exposed, even to employees, because hiring managers do not want to get inundated with emails from job seekers. So even ContactA did not know who the hiring manager was for this position. The best she could do was send the resume into the HR system.

However, I was able to search LinkedIn and found a manager (who I'll call ContactB) at CompanyA. I asked ContactA if she could send an email to ContactB and ask if she might know who the hiring manager for the req was. ContactB DID know and gave my friend HiringManagerA's name. ContactA emailed my resume to HiringManagerA along with a note saying that I was the best manager she ever had (Woo Hoo!)

Meanwhile, at some of the many networking events I was attending, I asked if anyone had contacts at CompanyA. I found ContactC who actually knew HiringManagerA and met me for coffee. He told me a lot more about CompanyA and what he thought HiringManagerA might be looking for which was very exciting because it's stuff I have lots of experience with.

The next day RecruiterA from CompanyA called me. We had a great talk and I told her all about what I'd learned from ContactC. She was wonderfully supportive and said, "It's nice to talk to someone who's done her homework!" and then she set me up for an interview with HiringManagerA! (Double Woo Hoo!!)

In this competitive environment, it's really hard to get noticed. I am thrilled to have gotten to the interview stage. It goes to show you, this stuff really works! And even if I don't get the job, I've now met a bunch of other people that are in my network. RecruiterA told me that even if I didn't get this job, she would keep an eye out for me for future positions.

PS. I'm not mentioning names because I want to protect the privacy of the people involved, but I certainly am grateful. I'm very jazzed that, thanks to networking (both the tools and the old-fashioned kind) I was able to land an interview! Wish me luck!

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