A cynic once said, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” The last eight years of U.S. history (and the history of Hollywood since the beginning) has clearly shown the veracity of this statement.
The good news is – you too can make this principle work for you in your job search!
In fact, in today’s over-saturated, hyper-competitive, every man (or woman) for him/herself, dog-eat-dog, take-no-prisoners-show-no-mercy-give-no-quarter labor market, you need every advantage you can get – and knowing someone on the “inside” is perhaps the best advantage you could possibly have.
How You Heard About The Position
Whenever you compose a cover letter, you need to state how you heard about the position – and having heard about the position from someone on the inside (who in all likelihood can put in a good word for you) is the one single thing that could put you over the top.
It’s no guarantee, of course; your inside contact may have no pull with management or human resources whatsoever.
Still, it can add to your credibility.
About “Using” People
Some gentle souls who still have a conscience about such things may be hesitant to “use” another person or a connection in this manner for such a purpose. At best, such a person may consider using such a connection as being unfair.
Hel-LOH!! This is the unregulated, no-holds-barred free and open market we’re talking about here!
You think you’re not being used?
“Fair” has nothing to do with it!
This is survival we’re talking about, Darwinism in its most undiluted form; the law of the jungle. It’s “eat or be eaten,” kids.
Here’s our best advice: if you have a friend or acquaintance working at the company, use them.
Mention this in your cover letter.
In fact, you’ll want to lead off with this juicy fact in the very first paragraph:
“Dear Mr. Dirks:
A staff member in your employ, Fritz Katzenjammer,
suggested that I contact you regarding the opening
in your company for a demolitions expert…”
Be a Name-Dropper
It is completely fair and fine to be what some people contemptuously refer to as a “name dropper,” especially when seeking gainful employment. However, should you choose to do this, it is considered good manners (and is also useful) to send this person a copy of your cover letter and your resume.