You know that one of her favorite words around here at Fan To Pro is "resume worthy." That, of course, is our term for the kind of company that should get your resume, often because they are cool, make neat things, and of course have probably received boatloads of venture capital. What can I say? We progeeks have got to help those folks spend that investment money wisely.
I'm sure you see our listings here of “resume–worthy” companies. I'm sure you see them yourself when you read the news, glance over blogs, or read interesting e-mails from your fellow pros and friends. We all do it, looking at the company and saying "wow, it would be cool to work there."
We all say that. So let's make sure those of us looking for work follow-up on it as well.
I'm a not being a pest here; I'm just noting that it's way, way too easy to go “oh wow,” and then not actually do anything. So, here's Steve Savage's Guide to take “resume–worthy” and turn it into “resume–submitted.” Come on people, the world needs geeks like you, and those cool technologies aren't going to get made without you, the future isn't going to be built without you, and that venture capital isn't going to yield a return on investment without you.
So here's a what to do when you see a resume–were the company in the news – or here.
1) Go to LinkedIn.com or Crunchbase.com and check them out. Do they seem valid? Are they in a place you'd like to move to or live in? In short, based on what you see, would you work there? If not, hey, you at least did your research before discovering they're just not for you and your immense talents will have to go elsewhere.
2) If they are resume worthy, go to their site and see if they're hiring. If they are, and there's a position for you, then go on and submit that resume – go to stage 4.
3) There are no jobs open for you or they haven't posted any jobs? Then look for general contact information, see if you can find someone, anyone to send your resume to. If you've found that, go to stage 4.
4) Job opening or not, general HR email or other option or not, go and check your LinkedIn contacts to see if you know anyone there or someone that knows someone at your target company. If you can, great, go email them and ask them about applying to work there, and who they can talk to. If not, or they tell you working there is a pain, then you tried.
5) Next up, if you have some contact there, from a job posting you can respond to, or even just a general email address, go on and submit that cover letter and resume. Just remember to tweak it to mention that you read about the company in the news. Play up your research, what you like, what you find – show you're interested.
Now you may say to yourself, “hey Steve, won't a lot of other people be doing the same thing?” I would respond that, yes they are–so why shouldn't you? Yes HR departments and recruiters get tons of resumes, yes the Internet and modern technology allows any recruiting department, or individual be overloaded with a lot of questionable applicants. That's why you A) look for a personal contact (stage 4) to get you around bureaucracy and make it personal and B) make sure to adjust your letter to call out your interests and research and make an impression.
Just these two things will make you stand out from the large, amorphous, Shoggoth-like mass of resumes recruiters at companies have to handle.
Will this work? Maybe, maybe not. Let's all be honest here; the job search is unpredictable, we just do our best to bring order to it. This is a method of bringing some order to those moments you discover a wonderful, interesting company and want to see if you'll fit in. It means you don't miss the chance, even if hundreds of others are taking it.
And if it doesn't work? Maybe you'll find a position for friend, make a new contact, or learn something from. Just don't quit; the news is sending all those stories about wonderful, interesting companies in industries all the time. We career–minded geeks need to take to advantage of that.