Didn’t get that job offer you wanted, even though you followed all the right strategies and tactics (hopefully the ones I recommended)? Well, there are some variables of the hiring process at play that you don’t have any control over, such as the state of the economy, the current state of your particular industry or profession, regulatory compliance that stymies job growth, and so on.
But, it’s not all bad and here’s why. Let me suggest another way of looking at the situation. Rather than bemoan the fact that you didn’t get the job offer, why not look at it as you didn’t get the job offer today.
So many people give up pursuing a dream job when someone else got the job offer. But guess what: you don’t have to stop promoting your expertise and interest to the hiring manager because you don’t know if the person who was hired will work out or quit in the meantime (don’t assume all employers will “keep your résumé on file”).
If the job is one you see as a great opportunity for enhancing your career, here’s a strategy that embraces the idea of “switching on your own career”:
- Honestly self-assess how well you think you performed in the hiring process; what might you have done differently if given the opportunity? Adjust any aspect of your documents or interview skills that need it.
- Three to 4 months down the road, send an email to the hiring manager expressing your hope the candidate has worked out well for the position you applied for. This email continues developing the associative model in the mind of the hiring manager, connecting your name with your expertise for that position.
- A few months later, send the hiring manager another one of the documents in your Professional Skills, Knowledge, and Experience (PSKE Portfolio) using the Trojan Horse technique (attaching the Post-It Note to the document) that I’ve written about in my books and in previous blog posts.
- Repeat Step 3 four to six months later. Let all this simmer in the hiring manager’s mind.
Of course, in the meantime you have been pursuing other opportunities and may have snagged a terrific job. The point here is that you don’t have to stop promoting your expertise after job interviews have ended and you don’t have stop promoting your expertise after the job offer goes to another candidate.
Some folks may feel “I don’t want to seem like a pain in the a** to hiring managers by doing this…” I understand, but that’s an employee attitude. The consultant’s attitude continues to promote the benefits of that expertise without placing time limits on that effort. And, you never know who will end up with that post-hire information you sent.
In 1993, I interviewed for a position at Motorola. I didn’t get the job but I followed up with the hiring manager by sending him (using the techniques described above) a copy of a peer-reviewed journal article I had published and a few months later, a column I wrote in an industry newsletter. Didn’t hear back at all from him.
One year later, a different hiring manager from Motorola contacted me to see if I was interested in a team lead position with his department. I didn’t apply for the job – in fact, I didn’t know about it – so I asked how he came upon my résumé, and he told me another hiring manager (the one I interviewed with a year previous) had forwarded it along with the other documents to his attention.
When you absorb a consultant’s attitude toward the benefits of your expertise, you’ll realize communicating those benefits has no time limit.
Former Fortune 500 hiring manager Donn LeVie Jr. is the author of the newly released Strategic Career Engagement (September 2015), and the book that reset the rules for successful job and career strategies: Confessions of a Hiring Manager Rev. 2.0 (June 2012, Winner of the 2012 Global eBook Award and Winner of the 2012 International Book Award for Jobs/Careers).