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Do you give up too soon?

Having the perfect introduction isn’t enough to land an interview. You need tenacity too. Joanna tells of a woman who didn’t let unanswered emails get in the way of a job application. Being a solution to a problem + tenacity = getting to be part of the consideration set.

Let me paint a picture for you.

You’ve found your dream job. Yes, you’ve gone through the proper channels to apply for the job, but you’ve been to one of my public workshops and know that just checking the box isn’t enough. So you write what is probably the most thoughtful and compelling email you’ve written in your life, and you intend on sending it to the hiring manager.

The problem is, the only information you have is the hiring manager’s name and company name.

How do you get in touch with them? The hardest part is figuring out their email. Possible combinations could be

And add to that, is the company email domain even dreamjob.com?

The combinations could be endless. Endless and time-consuming.

How many times would you attempt to get the email address right? Once, twice, five times?

How about fifteen? Yes, I said fifteen.

I COULDN’T be prouder of the person who told me this story. Not because she finally got it right but because she didn’t give up. She didn’t automatically think, “I followed the proper procedures” or “Oh, they must not like me.” She assumed she hadn’t got the email right because, of course, they would email her back with confirmation of receipt if they had.

She kept trying. She did not give up. So awesome.

I’m sure you now want to know. Did she get an interview? You bet she did. The dream job company reached back out to her in less than 24 hours.

Her powerful and compelling email along with her perseverance landed her that interview. In the email, she expressed her understanding of what problems the company might be trying to solve by hiring the role. She wrote about solutions to those problems and how one might think about them. She outlined her experience and background as a potential solution to their problem.

Again, I beam with joy at hearing this.

THAT, my friends, is what it’s about. 

Being a solution to a problem + tenacity = getting to be part of the consideration set.

Which now drives me to flip the perspective. For a moment, I’m going to put myself in the shoes of the hiring manager. In looking at the job description and resume of the applicant, the richer story of this applicant isn’t immediately apparent. Even if this candidate’s LinkedIn profile had shown up in my search results, would I have taken a second look? Would they have received more than the seven seconds of attention we usually give to someone’s information?

Probably not. And not because it’s a poorly written resume. It’s because a resume never really tells a person’s story. It’s just a bunch of facts about what you’ve done.

This is where I think we’re still using 20th-century tools in a 21st-century world. On “paper” this candidate might not seem like she’s worth the investment of a phone interview. In reality, she’s uniquely qualified. Imagine for a second she’d given up on attempt 14? In my hiring manager role, I would have missed out on a really engaging conversation. And yes folks, when we talk about hiring diverse candidates, this type of conversation is exactly what we’re talking about. 

The good news is this applicant is tenacious. She made another attempt and the dream job hiring manager didn’t miss out. This opportunity was not missed. Lucky hiring manager! 

I’m personally dying to hear how the interview goes. Aren’t you?

Dream job applicant, we’re all rooting for you, you Ladybadass. :)

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