Are You Using the Back Door?

Photo by Evil Erin

I speak with so many job seekers who are still trying to use the front door to find their next gig.

It’s awfully crowded at the front door. I really think using the back door is much more effective.

Front door / back door, whoa, what am I talking about – home construction?

No, I’m talking about job search strategies and how to use the best and shortest method to get your resume and your talents noticed by hiring managers.

Clients e-mail to ask if the online submission to _________ (fill in the blank with your favorite online job board) was done correctly.

I don’t know since I didn’t do it for them and I didn’t watch them do it. online applications is still going through the front door. Everyone is trying to enter through job boards just like everyone was answering paper newspaper ads a decade ago.

So where’s the back door? The back door is found through NETWORKING!

Sound familiar? If you read this blog regularly you have heard me talk about informational interviewing, LinkedIn, online social networking, and translating that into real time networking.

Who do you know who can help you find the person who has the power to hire you in the industry? Or are you still trying to fight your way through the crowds to get through the front door?

If your only job search strategy is posting on online job boards, you will continually wonder why you don’t get calls back. A select few in-demand people will get calls for the best positions from their online submission.

The rest of the crowd, they will be milling around the front door waiting for calls from their online application while the proactive job seeker has gone in the back door to be hired.

So which door did you select?


  1. JB on October 10, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    Thanks for posting this, Julie. I think most jobseekers would like to take this approach, but many times it can reach dead ends. It can get tricky with those second/third degree connections. Your first connection may be very eager to help you, and will make the connection to a person who works at your target firm.

    However, compelling that second/third degree person to advocate for you can be a challenge. He or she may not be very well connected at the company or with HR specifically, or not be able to locate the hiring manager. And, often, they simply let the ball drop. With this new connection, jobseekers want to be able to reciprocate helpfulness at some point, but they immediately need this person to take some kind of action on their part for a recently identified job opening. That’s the conundrum…jobseekers don’t have the luxury of time to develop a relationship with so many more people, when their dream job just became available and this person may be their only “in”.

    If jobseekers push any harder to compel action on their part, it can seem pushy and be a turn-off. Networking can only work to a point, but each person in that process needs to work to make it happen. Many just prefer to stay out of it, choosing not to help.

  2. Julie Walraven on October 10, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    Ideally, you start networking long before you lose your job but I know that doesn’t work all the time. At some point too, you need to make sure that the marketplace is big enough for the type of position you seek. If it is not, then it is time for you to look at your skill sets and find a way to use them creatively in a different environment. At this point, you need to start networking again.

    You may want to schedule some brainstorming sessions with people who would not hire you but might have great analytical skills and see skill sets you are ignoring.

    As difficult as it is to make networking work for you, throwing out hundreds of resumes without a strategy will make you even more frustrated.

    I know how tough it is but I have seen people get jobs by using this strategy to help open the door.

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Julie Walraven, Design Resumes

Julie Walraven

Professional Resume Writer

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