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How can I avoid getting lost in the email resume shuffle, and make a personal connection to the hiring agent?
Great question! Here's some advice from a couple of our board members who have lots of knowledge and experience in this area:
From Amanda Haddaway, human resources director at Folcomer Equipment Corporation:
Submitting a resume online has become the standard way to apply to most organizations. However, trying to get hired by that company doesn't stop once you hit the submit button. Continue to do your homework on the organization. Try to find the names and contact information for people who work within the department that you are applying. Also, use tools like LinkedIn to find out more about the organization and the people that work there.
Networking is a key component to landing a job, so don't solely rely on just sending in a resume and waiting for someone to contact you.
Be proactive in making contacts and consider asking for an informational interview as a way to get some face-to-face time.
From Lisa Heflin, human resources manager at SAIC-Frederick, Inc.:
One of the best ways to stand out from other job seekers is through networking. Do any of your friends or family members work for this employer? If so, perhaps they can make an introduction for you. Another effective way to network is through social media. LinkedIn is particularly good for finding professional contacts at the companies you are interested in. I have had many candidates contact me through LinkedIn to express their interest in a specific position. I usually forward their note to the appropriate recruiter for follow up.