Sunday, April 8, 2007

Love Letters to my new boss

Once upon a time, I found what appeared to be a nearly perfect opportunity and got the interview. I was very well qualified, probably too qualified, but they are located EXACTLY where I want to live. Its a very well managed company, in the right industry, in my target size range. The interview went great, they clearly indicated I was probably the best qualified candidate, started discussing salary expectations while I was still there.... then silence.

What in the hell went wrong???

As the candidate I have several options, but basically it boils down to 1.) wait for them to act, or 2.) be proactive and make the offer happen. The best case scenario for any candidate is to take the proactive choice. I am not talking about begging for a job, I don't beg. Nothing is as hopeless and unappealing than desperation.

In any interview situation, you must make the connection. The candidate sets themselves apart by making the interviewer feel good about themselves when they are with you. If this sounds disingenuous, its not, it's developing a relationship. Its like dating or "courting" to use an older term, and I am not the only one who believes this. Check out David Perry's blog "Job Hunting is just like courting"

So, back to my specific situation; I made the connection in the interview, but I oversold it a little and made them uncomfortable. This was the killer and it would have undone the whole thing without some proactive work. I wrote a love letter to my prospective boss. Nothing flowery, but a simple statement that really I was approachable and wanted the job. I would love to be a part of your team. I did this by e-mail and got nothing back - lets face it - e-mail is really impersonal. So I called, and it took quite a few times to get through, but it worked. I sold the product (me) and got the offer!

I must admit I was skeptical, but it worked and with an actual offer on paper, then you can negotiate. This is a subject for another blog.

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