The Internal Hire

Image   Twice now I’ve had multiple interviews for a promising position, only to be told in the end that the position was filled by an internal candidate.  I find this curious.  I thought that the usual process when one intends to hire internally was just a cursory look for external candidates (if at all) to satisfy expectations that internal candidates are reasonably qualified compared to the general labor pool.

Has the process changed so that one is required to drag one or more external candidates along for the ride before justifying an internal hire?   Is the “we hired internally” explanation a convenient white lie for something else?  Or am I just not performing up to snuff in interviews?

I’d love to hear – is this happening to other job seekers?

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Redneck Summer

Appalachian_Trail_Heading_to_Double_Springs_Gap_From_Clingman's_Dome

My job hunt continues, and it’s a tedious slog  — another application to submit, another interview to prepare for, another rejection email.   For inspiration I’ve been reading blogs written by people thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, which can also be a tedious slog, contending with bad weather, equipment issues, and sore feet.  It’s still amazing to me that it’s possible to blog without electricity and while transporting all of your belongings by foot.

This talk of the outdoors leads me to the silver lining of not having a job: I don’t have a job!  As in IT’S SUMMER!  The kids are at the perfect age – old enough to be able to do things, and young enough that they still want to hang out with mom.    We’re doing a mid-week camping trip to the beach next week (before it gets too stinkin’ hot to sleep in a tent around here), and have more trips planned.

I even ordered some inner tubes so we can spend some time floating down local streams, many of which are at least partially navigable for most of the summer.  The husband said something to the effect of “how redneck are you planning to get, anyway?”   Maybe I should get a case of Pabst Blue Ribbon for good measure.  What I really want are kayaks, but that’s another project entirely.

tubing

It promises to be a fun summer, as we have plenty of places to go and things to see within an easy drive.   Easy on the pocketbook, too, since we don’t mind sleeping in a tent.

And yes, I am still looking for a job.  Really, I am!

Watchful Waiting

No, I’m not talking about what doctors sometimes recommend for a  slow-growing cancer, although there are days when the job search feels a lot like that.  I’m referring to the fact that it can take a long time for the right opportunity to appear (or reappear, like one of those slow growths).

Within the past few weeks, three positions have opened up at three different non-profit organizations that I’ve been interested in and at which I’ve applied in the past.   One is a large organization for which I’ve volunteered for a long time. The others were non-profits I became aware of through my job search.

First time around, I got no interviews at any of the three.  Since then, I’ve done some networking, which has resulted in one interview so far.  For the other two, I’m confident my resume will at least be reviewed, since I’ve gotten to know people inside the organization in similar roles and learned more about the skills and experience that are deemed most important.  And for good measure, one of those resumes will probably go through the CEO, since I know somebody who knows her.  Sometimes you have to pull out the big guns, but it’s important to keep your powder dry for when you really need it, too.

The interview I did get might also have had something to do with the fact that I’ve been volunteering with an organization with a similar mission, and recently completed a relevant certificate program, paid for by the organization I’ve been volunteering with.

A similar situation occurred with a for-profit role, too.  I had been phone screened, but was told I wasn’t a great match since I didn’t have enough experience in a certain area.  The interviewer was great –she said she was impressed with my experience in other areas, and gave me good, honest feedback.  She recently contacted me, asking if I was still looking, and noted there was another role I might be a good match for.    That trail has since gone cold, so perhaps her hiring colleague had other things in mind, but it is still nice to know that someone thinks I’m qualified for something!

The moral of the story is to identify organizations you are interested in, and make a point to get to know people there, even if they don’t have an immediate opening, or if you’ve been rejected.   Find out what skills they are looking for, and tailor your resume accordingly, or develop them if you don’t have them.  If they are a non-profit, consider volunteering for them or a similar organization.  And of course don’t burn any bridges. Ever. You never know who might be helpful in the future.

This can be a long and difficult process, but it can bear results.  I guess that’s why they call it networking.

A side note to non-profit HR departments:  it’s not good PR to diss your volunteers.  The organization where I’ve volunteered for many years rejected me last time with a form email that bordered on rude, telling me that I wasn’t qualified.  They should have incorporated questions about volunteer service with them into their employment application, so that volunteers can at least receive a kind rejection that acknowledges their volunteer service even if they are not a good fit for the job.  Last time around, I’m not sure a real person even read my resume, since their online app is long and convoluted.  That’s part of the reason I enlisted the big guns this time.

Enough with the military metaphors for now, although the husband is dragging us to Gettysburg soon, so I’m sure I’ll have an endless supply after that.