Better than a Cover Letter

Cover letters seem to be going the way of, well, letters in general. Most are not well-written and most, quite frankly, go unread.

But there are two new versions of the old cover letter that are worth considering. They’re two faces of a single coin, and one of the two may work for you.

Candidate in Waiting

The informational interview is a mature technique (that ‘s a nice way of saying “old;” everyone’s heard of it and used it.) Asher’s fresh technique was to call a meeting to become a “candidate in waiting.” Asher says that smart managers know that they must be ready to replace key talent at a moment’s notice. People move, have emergencies, and get promoted all the time. It’s good policy to have a network of candidates in waiting who you’ve met, vetted, and know are interested in your company.

Four Kinds of Contacts

Donald Asher is the author of “Cracking the Hidden Job Market.” The book is full of common sense tips for finding a job, combined with get tough orders on what it takes to become employed. He pushes the idea of networking hard; after all, he maintains that you must have 100 active leads to follow up on at all times. Here’s how Asher talks about your active network.

Asher maintains that most business professionals know somewhere between 600 and 10,000 people. He says that you should divide your network into four active categories.

Hiring Authorities. These are the people who actually have jobs and could

The Power of Not Very Powerful People

We know from networking training that people love to be asked for advice; it makes them feel important and seen. The problem is we often focus only on who we consider powerful, and they get asked a lot. It’s the connected, but not powerful, people who may have the best leads. Talk to everyone.