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6 Job-Hunting Tips from the Sales Pros

Tania Khadder

4. Get Past the Gatekeeper

Ahh… the illusive gatekeeper. In sales, this person is anyone who stands between the seller and the decision maker. It can be a receptionist, an executive assistant or even a direct report – either way, this person controls the access, and thus, the success. Unfortunately, part of the gatekeeper’s job is to screen correspondence. More often than not, they’ll do whatever they can to stop a salesperson from getting through.

Does that mean the lead is a dead end? Of course not! Whether it’s building a rapport with the gatekeeper and warming their way in, or finding ways to bypass them entirely – a shrewd salesman will have lots of tricks up their sleeve to make sure nothing – and no one – gets in their way.

You need to do the same. When it comes to job hunting, getting in front of the key decision maker will bring you that much closer to nailing the job. Depending on the company size and structure, your gatekeeper can be a receptionist, an HR manager or even a nondescript email alias – anything that stops your resume from being seen by the hiring manager will hinder your prospects.

We all know what it’s like to send a resume out into the internet abyss. You never know who – if anyone – is even going to see it. But by finding out exactly who is hiring for the position, and then emailing them directly, your chances for success will be that much greater.

How do you do this?

One way is to call the company and ask. You may not get an answer, but there’s no harm in trying. Another way is to research the department itself and find out who the key players are. Try and work out what their email addresses might be – you’d be surprised how easy they can be to figure out. There’s usually at least one person from that company whose email address is available online – once you find it, copy the pattern, plug in the name, and voila – you’ve got yourself a direct line to the hiring manager. And don’t be afraid to try a few combinations if your initial attempt fails. Just like in sales, persistence pays.

Number 5: Follow-Up!>>

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