Pretend you're the hiring manager...and then strategize accordingly.
So pretend for a moment that you're a manager.
And it's your responsibility to find a really amazing marketing person to fill a critical opening in your department.
The HR department has advertised the position for you on Monster.com. And now has 450 applicants JUST WAITING for your to review
(OK, they've probably run the 450 through an applicant tracking system first, so you may get lucky and have just 30 or 40 applicants to review. Maybe.)
Pretend you are a manager.
I'm sure you're a busy, busy manager with 95 things on your to-do list on any given day. Burning the candle from three ends. Running and gunning. Juggling while spinning plates on your head and hopping on one foot.
Oop, but now you are supposed to stop everything and review 30, 40 or more resumes, because you really need to fill that important marketing position. And it's your job to find the best match.
Ugh, right? Total ugh.
Now pretend that, as you're contemplating the ugh-ness of this situation, Sally Smith, the brilliant up-and-comer who works over in Operations (whose judgement you trust implicitly) approaches you and says,
"Hey, I heard you need a great marketing person. I think I may have the perfect candidate for you. She's great, she's been working for our competition for a couple of years, and she just last night told me she's looking for a new challenge. May I share her resume with you?"
As the overworked hiring manager, what do you think you'll do?
A) Review the resume of the candidate who came from the trusted, internal source? or
B) Dive in and start tackling that stack of unknown applicants?
Right. That'd be A. You'd do A.
I'd be stunned if a single hiring manager chose option B over option A, ever.
So the moral of this tiny little story?
If you have an "in" within a company that you'd like to work for, use it. Every time.
Every. Single. Time.
If you don't? Don't let this be your excuse. Go find an "in."
Stay out of the resume pile up whenever you can.
Because hiring managers are tired. And piles of resumes don't tend to energize them.
Make it easy for the hiring manager and you will make it easier for yourself.