A couple of months ago, I was approached by a candidate who wrote what he admitted later was a pretty generic cover letter. He found some of my blog posts about cover letters very shortly after applying, and sent me a follow up cover letter that expressed his remorse for the initial approach, and included a new one that was written in a much more targeted style that matched our cultural “voice”. He then asked a question on the blog about cover letters that I liked so much I that the answer became a stand-alone post.
We had a role that was a close-but-not-quite fit for him, and the hiring manager passed on his resume. All was not lost – I liked his approach, and writing chops, enough that I wanted to get him in here. As new roles came open, I approached the appropriate managers, and he set up an RSS feed to our career site so he could stay abreast about openings here, as well.
Long story, short: it worked. The right role opened up. I talked to the hiring manager – our own Tad Goltra – and he and the candidate hopped on the phone. They clicked, and we brought him in. There was more clicking, and we brought him back to talk to our COO, who loved him as well. We made an offer, he accepted, and he starts in a couple of weeks – meantime, he’s coming to our holiday party at the Hard Rock (pending locating a babysitter 🙂
The point? Keep at it. If you’re good, and you’re a real person to the company, getting ruled out on one position (or, in this case, 3) before the right match comes up shouldn’t discourage either side. We’ve hired several people who applied, or even interviewed for, one role and were ruled out, but who were good fits for the company and we were able to find a better position for.
(editors note: it’s June of ’08, and Barrett’s up for more responsibilities due to how well he’s done – he’s a rock star 🙂