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Ways to apply for a particular Job

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Applying for Jobs: There are four basic ways to apply for a job, three of which have already been discussed in this book. The most effective way is to speak face to face with the person who is making the hiring decision and ask for the job. The second way is to write a cover letter and resume and send them to someone at the organization where you want to work. The third way is to apply online. The fourth way is to fill out a formal job application from the employer.


As was discussed earlier, if you can get someone you know to introduce you to a hiring manager, or to give his or her permission to use his or her name when speaking to a hiring manager, you will increase immensely your chances of being hired.

Whenever you can eliminate a middleman, it will be to your advantage. Each person who has to look at your application before it is passed on to the hiring manager is in a position to remove you from consideration. Each person who conveys a message will likely filter that message somehow before they pass the message along to the next person. You may have written an excellent cover letter, but it may be separated from the resume by the first person who sees it, only to end up in a pile of papers to be discarded. When that middleman works for human resources, you face the additional challenge of overcoming their misinformation about the position, as well as their own preconceptions and prejudices about you as a candidate.

By going directly to the person who will make the ultimate decision of whether or not to hire you, you can remove those obstacles to your success. That's one of the reasons why people are generally far more successful using networking methods than by replying to ads in the newspaper. Employers value those employees who network as well. Some companies will post "bounties" (cash rewards) for their employees to collect if they suggest a person as a potential employee, and that person is hired. From the company's perspective, if they feel good about having you work for them, the odds are pretty good that they will feel good about having your friend work there, too.

One great opportunity designed to help people with disabilities in their networking is Disability Mentoring Day. Co sponsored by the Business Leadership Network, the American Association of People with Disabilities, and the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy, this event connects people from business and industry with people with disabilities who aspire to obtain employment. The event is held in the fall of each year. Check the Web site of any of the organizations mentioned above for details.

Sending a Resume and Cover Letter

A well written cover letter and resume can be very helpful in getting you an interview for a job. It is a bit of a numbers game, because depending on the type of position and the job market in that area, there could be anywhere from a dozen to several hundred resumes submitted for any given position. Still, if you have the qualifications that they are looking for, and if you have a background that would be appropriate for the position, there is a chance that you will be invited to at least have a phone interview with the organization.

Obviously, it doesn't always work out that way. If there are a hundred applicants for a position, there may be 20 to 40 who don't meet the minimum qualifications for the position. That leaves 60 to 80 people who are qualified. Obviously, the company will not interview every qualified candidate. At this point the employer will go through the remaining resumes and decide which ones are most qualified. This might mean that someone with three years' experience will be chosen over someone who has two years. It may mean that someone with a degree from Canisius College will be passed over in favor of someone with a degree from Notre Dame. Or, it could mean that someone with a degree from Harvard will be passed over for someone with a degree from the University of Scranton if the person screening the resumes has a degree from the University of Scranton.

The point is that you just never know what's going to happen to your resume. In fact, you may never know. Chances are, however, that if you went to school with the daughter of the president of the company, you will increase your chances of being in the "to be interviewed" pile if she puts in a good word for you. You will also increase your chances if you list a well respected employee of that company in your references or refer to that person in your cover letter. This is the point at which "who you know" pays off most. At this point, any single intangible can tip the scales in your favor.

Applying Online

Many companies give you the opportunity to apply for a job directly on their Web site. You fill in a brief form outlining your qualifications for the position and click on the Submit button. At that point, your information is sent along to a human resources or personnel office to be evaluated and forwarded in the appropriate way. Usually you will receive some sort of automated response via e mail to acknowledge that your application was received.

You can sometimes apply for positions on some of the job banks. By using that sort of site, you are going through an intermediary who will then forward all the applicants in one package to the employer. Unless the site belongs to an employment agency, it is unlikely that they would screen your application and discard it.
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