Getting Yourself Known at Non-Hiring Companies


Sarah writes:

I have always wanted to work for a certain company, but they are currently not hiring. How do I get my name to their HR person so they may consider me for a position later?

The Career Doctor responds:

First, let me say that in some ways, job-hunting is easier when you have a specific geographic location or a specific set of companies in mind. While your options are limited by the number of employers, it also allows you to have a more focused job search — giving you the ability to direct your time and energy to getting your foot in the door at one or more of them.

Let me offer you several pieces of advice.

While I won’t advise you not to try and get your name and resume to the human resources department, I will say that unless you are trying to get a job in HR, sending your resume to that department is not going to do you much good. Do it because in some companies it is standard procedure, but certainly do NOT stop there… and do not expect much to happen as a result of doing so.

Instead, turn to your network of contacts and see if they know anyone who works for the company. If you find one or more who do, see if you can leverage their inside position to get your name and resume into the hands of the right people. Remember that network contacts can’t get you the job, but they can help get your foot in the door. If you have no network contacts within the company, consider expanding your network (which you should be doing anyway).

Another approach is to target the prospective hiring manager, such as the marketing director. If you do not have a contact within the company, call the main number and ask for the name of the hiring manager in the marketing department. Get the person’s name and title. Then write a dynamic cover letter explaining why you should be considered for a marketing position at the company. When writing your cover letter and editing your resume, be sure to use some of the same words to describe yourself as the company does in describing itself.

Most larger companies have put their career center on their Websites, and some of these career centers give job-seekers explicit instructions for applying for posted openings. Even though they are not currently hiring, check out their Website and follow the advice they have posted.

Finally, whichever of these techniques you used (and hopefully you used several of them), take the time to follow-up. Do so politely and professionally — and do so more than once if necessary — by simply calling or emailing the person and asking about the status of your resume or application.



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