Do You Want a Job Created Just For You?

    May 19, 2003

In good times and bad, there are jobs to be had.

But if you follow the crowds and apply only for positions advertised in the classifieds or on Internet job sites you’re doing what everybody else is doing.

And just about everybody is finding this job market tougher than a $2.00 steak.

There’s another way.

You can effectively create your own private job market — and have jobs created just for you — if you do one simple thing: write an “approach letter” to employers and ask to meet with them.

To show you how it’s done, I interviewed a company president, Stuart Lichtman, from Santa Barbara, Calif.

In addition to running three companies right now, he’s a scientist, former Fortune 500 consultant and author of 14 books, including his latest, “How to Get Lots of Money for Anything – Fast” (

Here’s how you can write a simple letter to employers — and get job offers.

1) What’s the process? How’s it done? In a nutshell, you’ll write a concise “approach letter” to the person you want to work for, sell them on your skills, and ask to meet.

“As a company president, I always try to meet qualified candidates who write and ask. I have created jobs on the spot for people who made a strong case for hiring them,” says Lichtman.

And he’s not alone.

“The biggest problem in running any company is getting the right people, so a good leader is always looking for new star employees. Most presidents of successful companies I know feel the same way,” says Lichtman.

Since star employees are usually action-oriented, the act of writing a letter to ask for a meeting shows initiative. Which can earmark you as the kind of go-getter that employers want on their team.

2) What do you say in your letter? Surprise! You’re not sending a resume or cover letter.

Instead, write a concise “approach letter” letter to the president of the division or company you want to work in. Your aim? To sell them on the idea of meeting you.

“I prefer letters that say, in effect, ‘Here’s what attracts me about your organization, and here are the skills and abilities I can contribute. Would you be open to discussing this?'” says Lichtman.

To write an effective approach letter, research and learn the needs of your target company. You can talk to people who work there or at the competition. And your experience can provide valuable insights, too, if you’re in the same industry.

Be sure to mail an actual paper letter. Since it’s tangible, it can’t be deleted in two seconds, like an email.

3) How well can this work? Lichtman offers startling figures to illustrate the potential success rate for this method.

During his 30+ years as a company president, he received letters from about 40 candidates asking to meet, and he sat down with almost all of those. How many got a position?

“I hired about 26 at last count. Essentially, I created jobs for them on the spot. Most of the others I referred to friends and colleagues who could help,” says Lichtman.

You may or may not experience a high number of calls for interviews, but if the phone isn’t ringing now, what have you got to lose?

4) Can this work in a slow job market? What about the current economic doldrums? Are employers hiring?

“Yes, especially when times are tough. The need for good employees is even greater now,” says Lichtman.

With more job hunters chasing a shrinking number of advertised positions, you should have less competition by approaching employers directly. So, a rotten job market may actually favor you.

5) Final analysis While some may dismiss this “approach letter” tactic as too simple or not right for their industry, it’s important to remember this: you’ll never be hired for any job without meeting with someone first. Why not initiate that meeting on your own terms?

Lichtman says: “It’s amazing how many people treat the job search as a non-human process, when, in fact, the decision-making is all done by humans.”

Kevin Donlin is President of Guaranteed Resumes. Since 1996, he and his team have provided resumes, cover letters and job search assistance to clients in all 50 states. Author of “51 Ways to Find a Job Fast — Guaranteed,” Kevin has been interviewed by USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, CBS Radio and many others. As a reader of this publication, you can get a Free Job Search Kit ($25.00 value) at the Guaranteed Resumes Web site –