We all know the frustration of sending out a million and one applications and never getting a call back on a single one. It seems that a lot of employers today don’t give a second thought to leaving those looking for a job out in the dark. You know that they don’t treat their customers like that, but potential employees are a different story it seems. Job seekers respond to those ads that are many times just written horribly, usually vague, and sometimes insulting with the pay descriptions. Yet, we respond anyway because either we really want that job, or simply have to have one no matter where it is.

If you have worked your fingers off sending out resumes and answering countless ads, and you are getting no call backs or interviews, then something is really wrong. Even if the whole process is just broken in some cases, there should be a way to be able to sift through the crud and get a great job or at the least a call back. So, what can you do to get through and actually hear the phone ring with an interview invitation?

First, read through the ad and then ignore the instructions. Yes, that’s right, ignore them. Instead of going to a website and filling out forms and the normal junk that you’ve been doing, there are other steps that you need to be taking. Here are the steps that you should take so that your resume gets in front of the person that needs to see it (either the HR or hiring manager or job recruiter):

Go to the company’s website – not the huge job site the ad is on.

Head to the “About Us” or any section that gives you the names of the management at that company.

Find who would be the hiring manager or the person that would be recruiting for the open position – this would be the person who would be your boss at the company or their manager (the head of the department).

If it’s impossible to find out who it is, say the company is massive, then head over to LinkedIn
and plug in some information for a search under the Advanced People Search. You’ll have to enter the company’s name and then what the most likely job title would be of the hiring manager.

Once you find out their name, write it down. Then get their street address (on their site and LinkedIn usually). This is where you’re going to send your application.

Now, you have to come up with a “hook”, you know, like those crazy ads that keep you from reading articles because hey, that robotic teddy bear just looks like too much fun to make you repeat every horrible word you know. Basically this “hook” needs to be something that is listed in their news or press area of their site, that will show off something that the company (preferably the department you’re wanting to work in) has accomplished in the last few months.

Once you’ve found this “hook”, you can do a bit of word play and come up with something like “Congratulations on the newest line of realistic robotic teddy bears with real laser beam eyes!”.

Now you have to develop a “pain hypothesis” that will help get your foot in the door. Wait, what’s that? A “pain hypothesis” is a statement about the most likely pain that is between your would-be boss and their long term goals. To do this, read about the company and your hiring manager and consider all of your past history in the corporate world that would be keeping them tossing and turning at night. It could be inventory problems, billing or payment issues with vendors, or getting sales into the right large stores.

Put yourself in that specific manager’s shoes and then see how the issues are likely to be weighing on their mind and what problems it’s putting on their plate right now.

Once you’ve done that (sounds like a lot of work right, well it will pay off in the end), you now need to build on an experience where you ride in on your white steed and save the day by slaying the evil red knight. This should be a story about how you faced a similar problem at work and solved it.

Put all of these elements (the congratulations, the pain hypothesis, and your conquering story) into a “pain letter”. See the ‘Pain Letter’ template in the I Got Hired™ toolkit.

Print out this letter and your superbly written resume, staple them together, DO NOT fold them, and then put them into a large 8.5 x 11 inch white business envelope. Yes, we know that this is not the normal way you send a resume, which is exactly the point. It stands out and looks like something that is important – hey, it’s not folded, so it has to be important.

Neatly hand write your name and address in the left corner. Neatly, in block print, hand write the name of the hiring manager, their job title, the company’s name, address, city, state, and zip on the front making sure to center it on the envelope.

Now you get to mail that piece of job seeking gold. Head to the post office and get it out right away.

Make sure to log the date you mailed it, who it went to, and other information so that you can keep everything straight when they call you. Yes, this takes a little bit of getting used to when it comes to writing them.

Now, even with all that hard work, you will not hear back from every person that you send these to. Don’t worry. That’s normal. However, you will get a much higher response rate from doing this than you will from those automated applications on every website out there. Also, this way of searching will bring a human element to your resume and put a personal touch on the packet, putting you above the other pile of candidates as an actual potential employee – not just a printed out web page application.