What do James Taylor and job hunting have to do with one another?

Q: I have applied and applied to one company. I have tried to
submit a resume through a position posted online through an
industry-specific website. I have submitted a resume through a posting
on Linkedin. I have emailed my resume to their general careers site. I
have not heard a peep back from a recruiter or a hiring manager. I feel
like it gets stuck in a black hole. All I receive back is an automated
response with a message that says something like “Thanks. We will call
you if we are interested.” How do I get through to this company? I have a
friend who works there. Do I contact my friend?

A: It seems what you are doing is not effective. You have applied
several ways electronically with limited success. As James Taylor says
(or sings), “You’ve Got A Friend” so let’s use your friend. Call your
friend. Maybe this posting represents an old role that is already
filled. Maybe the company is fishing for additional candidates but they
have already filled the position with an internal candidate. Maybe they
are looking at candidates but have been overwhelmed by the number of
candidates who have applied. Maybe you are not qualified. Any of these
might be an option. Your friend may be able to share some insight and
have some inside information on the role. Your friend may also be
willing to say yes to a request like the following: “I am really
interested in pursuing opportunities at ABC Co. They are investing
millions in XYZ therapies, an area of great interest to me. Do you think
you might be willing to walk my resume down to one of the recruiters
who handles the hiring for those areas? Or the hiring managers? Or both?
If my resume came hand-delivered from you, that might make all the
difference in the world.” Even if the role is filled, this might be a
smart tactic. If the company is of great interest to you and is in
hiring mode, there may be other opportunities soon becoming available.

When an employee takes the time to hand-deliver a resume to a
recruiter or hiring manager, that action sometimes makes a difference.
It can differentiate your resume from the hundreds streaming in
electronically. The hiring manager may still want a copy electronically,
but yours is now different because it was hand-delivered by an

Friends matter. Good luck. Strong professional connections make a difference.

Pattie Hunt Sinacole is a human resources expert and works for First Beacon Group in Hopkinton, an HR consulting firm. She contributes weekly to Boston.com Jobs and the Boston Sunday Globe Money & Careers section.