Official Channels

My first blog post for 2013 is to share with you my experiences in going through official channels to apply for job openings. Let me be blunt: If you want to stand out from your competition in job searches, you should avoid applying for any position using official channels online.

I personally have experienced what happens by going through official channels. It is an unpleasant experience, to say the least. Some HR folks may disagree with me. But, I have no connections to HR departments and no organization to defend. My comments are unfiltered. I am not regurgitating the typical organizational spin that HR folks always will do. I urge you not to contact HR folks at all unless you have a way to contact HR folks in a face-to-face environment. All other methods of contact through official channels such as organizational websites with job postings are a complete waste of your time.

One set of experiences I had with a nonprofit organization in a major market involved up near ten contacts through official channels such as job postings online. Each time I thought I had learned my lesson. Each time, however, I kept coming back and applying online for job postings that led absolutely nowhere. I ultimately reached what may be a cynical (yet honest) conclusion: HR is there to prevent job applicants from actually having face-to-face contact with those within the organization who can actually make a hiring decision. HR seems to me to be like a line of defense to keep the enemy from getting anywhere near the inside of the fortress.

Let me repeat: Do not apply for jobs posted on an organization’s website.

I have personal experience that taught me a valuable lesson that HR folks will deny: Sometimes job postings online are to fulfill organizational or legal requirements and there is actually zero chance that you, personally, will get hired if you respond to such a job posting. Sometimes, the hiring manager already has someone else in mind and the online job posting is merely to fulfill protocols. HR folks won’t like to read this, but I am writing about truth here.

Face-to-face networking is the proven alternative that I urge you to embrace like I did. Face-to-face networking is the one undeniably reliable antidote to the pain and frustration that official channels of HR online will bring you.

When you meet face-to-face with someone who actually has the authority to hire you, if the job posting turns out to be illegitimate or merely for the purpose of satisfying protocol, the person will need to look you in the eye and let you know the truth. Or, perhaps will you discover that they are sufficiently skilled to be able to lie straight faced to you. My experience has taught me that kind of person is very easy to find in the Washington, DC market.

Regardless, face-to-face interaction is essential to persuading someone to hire you.

Stand out in your job search by opting for face-to-face networking with people who can connect you to those within organizations who can actually make a hiring decision. Devoting any time to official HR channels online should be avoided if you seriously want to be hired.

Other approaches than face-to-face networking will, I promise you, not help you stand out at all.

I invite you to email me at and share your opinions on this subject. I look forward to hearing from you today! You can also share your comments and suggestions below, unless, of course, you are from HR and you must regurgitate the typical organizational spin.

Copyright © 2013, Woody Goulart. All Rights Reserved.

See the growing list of posts in the “Stand Out” series here at Ned’s JOTW website.

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