TAO Self-help

Title:Learn How to Avoid HR During Job Search

Author:Hannah Morgan

Date:September 2020

Source:Career Sherpa - Reprinted with permission

Avoid HR during your job search and target people with the power to actually hire you.

You don't get hired simply because you have the exact match of skills an employer wants.

Companies hire people who fill a need within their company and whom they trust/like/see as a fit.

If hiring were as simple as finding someone with the right set of skills, companies wouldn't be screening and interviewing and interviewing and interviewing the way they are, would they?

Given the complexities and high stakes involved in hiring today, my advice is to stop playing the job application game. Build relationships instead. But avoid HR.

The role of Human Resources (or talent acquisition) is to screen candidates. They often do not have the first-hand knowledge of the real job requirements. (I used to work in HR and have lots of HR friends.) Read more about the differences between HR, recruiters and hiring managers.

In short, HR's job is to filter applicants to make the hiring manager's job easier. Wouldn't you rather have the hiring manager make that decision?

When you apply online, you are putting that decision into the hands of HR.

Stop playing the job boards and work on building connections inside companies and within the industry you are interested in.

How do I make this shift?

If you are serious about quitting the job boards, at least for now, you need something powerful to replace that activity with. The answer:


Use the time you would have normally spent applying for jobs online to build and nurture a virtual network comprised of people you know, experts in your field and hiring managers!

How Do I Start Using "Social" in Job Search?

The really wonderful thing about social networks is that, when used correctly, they allow you to build relationships with people you might otherwise find it difficult to connect with.

Social networks also make it easy to stay connected with people you already know.

Why You Need to Get Social

The job market is competitive. In order to stand out among the sea of applicants you need three things:

  • The right reputation
  • An online presence
  • Likability

You also need to have the desired skills, but that's a different topic.

Steps To Build New Relationships On Social

Here are the steps to avoid HR and focus on building new relationships with people who can influence the hiring decision.

  1. Identify companies you would like to work for
  2. Go to LinkedIn
    1. find and connect with people you know
    2. find and follow 2nd level connections and ask your 1st degree connection for an introduction
    3. find and follow employees who hold a role similar
    4. find and follow people you would report to
    5. follow the company page
  3. Go to Twitter, Instagram and Facebook
    1. Search and follow company pages
    2. Search for the user profiles of employees and company leaders and follow them
  4. Follow industry experts, speakers, and industry newsletters on social media
  5. Engage
    1. Comment, reshare, like posts coming from the company or its employees.

Learn How To Leave Engaging Comments that will help you build new relationships.

Hannah Morgan is one of this year's LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and a nationally recognized author and speaker on job search strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to combine her career expertise with her love of writing, speaking and social media. Her mission is to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today's job search process. Hannah is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, Aol Jobs, LifeHacker, The Muse, Business Insider, SmartBrief, Payscale as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.

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