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Finance Careers: Job Hunting from the Inside Out

  • By Tom Kellum
  • Published: 11/19/2015
careerdevThere is a revolutionary new way of thinking about and landing a new job. If you are seeking a new treasury or finance position, instead of conducting a job search from the perspective of a seller, approach the problem from the perspective of the buyer—i.e., the hiring authority.

This means understanding what the most important concerns are for the hiring authority and how to effectively educate and influence them to believe that you can help satisfy those concerns. And you must do so while projecting the kind of presence and personality that will make them prefer to have you fill the open position over all other applicants.

While you may not know every concern the hiring authority has, you can be fairly certain that the main ones involve how to reach the financial goals they are responsible for, and hiring someone who will do the job the way they want it done. Not many hiring authorities like mavericks, people that try to do things just the way they did it in their prior job, or people who like to try and reinvent the wheel.

After all, the hiring authority knows what works and what doesn’t for their company. They just need someone to help them so they can concentrate on what’s on their own plate.

Hiring someone for a responsible position involves making a tough choice, especially today because there are so many high-quality people to choose from. As a job hunter, you should do everything you can to make it easier for the hiring authority to select the right candidate.

Unfortunately, most job hunters do just the opposite. They say, in effect, “Here’s my employment history and education background, now you figure out what it all means as far as what I can do, and why you should hire me.”  They put the burden on the hiring authority’s shoulders, and that’s the opposite of what they should be doing.

Whenever you use a resume for the purpose of trying to get an interview, you are, in effect, giving an employer all the ammunition they need to shoot you down. At nearly all companies today, someone screens resumes before sending them to the hiring authority.

If yours gets screened out, guess what? You won’t get an invitation to interview. Age, education, short tenures, unemployment, self-employment, etc. are just a few of the things that can cause you to be eliminated from consideration.

To deal with this reality, you need a different strategy to get your foot in the door. You need a strategy that allows you to be evaluated based on your actual ability to handle the job, not merely on whether you’re just trying to make a lateral career move.

Expecting that a screener and/or hiring authority will take the time and correctly figure out how you can help the hiring authority based on your employment history is a risk that you can and should avoid.

So, what should you do? Send a marketing letter directly to the hiring authority. In it, tell them about some of the capabilities you can use to help them reach their business goals faster, as the result of your education and experience. Then offer to come in for a brief visit one day soon, to tell them more about your qualifications and how you can help.

A letter lets you control what you communicate, and it lets you directly communicate the answer to the most important question: “What can you do for me?”

If the hiring authority responds by asking for your resume, then send it. If you get lucky and they respond by asking you to come in, be sure and take your resume with you.

Tom Kellum has worked for 25 years as a job hunter’s consultant and strategist. He is a contributing author for, and has served as a national sales manager for MCBA software and a manager of marketing programs for Accountants Microsystems. Kellum can be reached via email.    

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