[03.07.11] Be the First Applicant with this Job Search Tip [Featured]

Be the First Applicant with this Job Search Tip


Be the First Applicant with this Job Search Tip | CAREEREALISM.comPlanning to apply to that hot job you just found online? Take it a step further with some competitive research that can put you first in line (but at another company).

Here’s the idea: when companies post a position, they might be hiring from within their network – looking at suppliers, competitors, vendors, and any other organizations within their sphere of influence for that perfect candidate.

If they follow through on hiring from within this group of companies, there’s now a space to be filled somewhere within this network.

Here’s your cue: jump on this scenario, and send your resume to any of these other firms BEFORE a job is posted, putting yourself first in line – before these companies realize someone is leaving!

Find a hiring manager (using LinkedIn or Zoominfo), then add supporting detail to your cover letter that shows your research on the industry, and your interest in their specific operation. (This letter WILL be read in detail, because you’re going to send it in hard copy, intriguing the manager enough to open it.)

Next, plan to follow up in about a week by phone or via LinkedIn.

Congratulations! You’ve just made a preemptive strike in your job search, figured out how the hidden job market works, and probably generated sufficient interest to win an interview.

Laura Smith-Proulx is a resume expert & former recruiter who wins interviews for C-Suite leaders using powerful personal branding and resume strategies.

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Laura Smith-Proulx

Multi-credentialed executive resume writer Laura Smith-Proulx of An Expert Resume is the #1 U.S. TORI resume award record-holder and a published global expert on executive branding and LinkedIn strategies.


  1. This is a fantastic strategy that I never even thought of. With how competitive the job market is these days you need to take advantage of any edge you can get. I think a key here is customizing the cover letter for the specific job field and company. I’m bookmarking this one and looking forward to future posts.

  2. Won’t many hiring agents want to at least test the market out to see what other candidates are out there? Being first is nice, but I’m not sure in most scenarios if it’ll stop companies from still posting the job. In fact, many companies have policies where they need to officially post the position.

    • It’s funny. I think you look desperate if you wait until the job posts an then send your resume in 4 minutes later as you brilliantly pointed out last week on Twitter @jobacle. BUT, I think Laura’s right too. If you beat out the job posting, you could just stand out and make it look like great timing that you sent in your resume. Better still, if you can get referred in by having someone pass your resume along, then you’ve got a connection to the company and your resume will be looked at more carefully. I think they will still test the market and look for other candidates, but there is something to be said for having crossed their desk before the job posted.

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