I JUST came across the NY Times business series called “Corner Office” written by Adam Bryant. Since 2009, he’s been interviewing top CEO’s, asking them the most basic questions that really reveal a lot about their company culture and their work ethic.
Here is my favorite question from his April 09 interview with Mr. Terry Lundgren
Q. Any job-seeking advice for college grads?
A. No. 1, don’t be so specific about what you want in this environment. Don’t be so choosy. You should get your résumé out there to a fairly broad number of companies and businesses to give yourself a chance.
No. 2, use every single contact you can come up with. Use your friend’s father’s uncle who knows somebody who’s an assistant to the college recruiter. Use whatever contact you have to try to get your résumé read. That’s the most important thing — just to get it in front of people.
Because we’re all flooded with, of course, thousands and thousands of résumés in a company of our size, and getting your résumé read is not an automatic. And so do what you can do to get it in front of the people who matter who will read it. It’s not the C.E.O. typically, by the way; it’s the H.R. person or the head of recruiting or head of training or whatever.
Third, don’t stop there. Don’t just do it online, because it’s easy to do it online. Do it online and then put it in an envelope and send it to the top company that you’re interested in pursuing. And then follow up with a phone call, and talk to the assistant and say: “I just want to make sure that my résumé’s getting read. I’m very interested in your company, and it’s really important to me. And I just want to know — can you give me advice? — is there anything that I can do to get my résumé in front of your boss?” Whatever you have to say, just to show the most important thing — that you’re hungry. And to convince them, maybe you use a little of your acting skills.
And I’ll probably relate it to college dating — you know, use a little, “I’m really interested in you” — to say: “This is the company I want to work for. Yours is the company that I want to work for.” And then once you get, hopefully, more than one opportunity, you’re back in charge to say, “Where do I want to go and where do I want to work.”