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January 10, 2012 11:57 AM Subscribe
Human Resources Voodoo: How does one land a supervisory position without ever having really supervised anyone?
posted by jph to Work & Money (7 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Managers are, at least practically speaking, made and not born. I'd like to be made into one. I work for a large government entity. I'm hoping to avoid having my resume shuffled into the pile to be shredded, but I'm not sure how to do that.
Problem One: All the positions at this institution that would be a promotion for me involve supervision. Fine! Great! I like people! I would put the SUPER in supervisor. Only, I don't currently supervise anyone. In fact...
Problem Two: My only supervisory experience is... useless-ish. Eight years ago, while in an unpaid position working on a political campaign, I supervised 25 college interns as well as seemingly endless groups of volunteers (mostly union members). I don't include that experience on my resume for a lot of reasons. It was eight years ago; it is political and therefore a potential lightning-rod; it wasn't a paid position; it was for a candidate whose campaign went down in memorable, embarrassing flames. I'd be comfortable sharing that experience in an interview where I could provide some context or good humor. I'm not terribly comfortable putting it on my resume just so that some Human Resources Drone can see management potential in me. Furthermore, it doesn't even meet the "two years supervisory experience" that are listed as "required" for the position.
Should I contact someone in the department directly who might then contact human resources and ask that my application be sent along up the chain? Could I do that under the guise of an "informational interview," and try to get them excited about the possibility of my application? Should I start my own lemonade stand and/or super-villain lair on the side and hire a henchperson? Do I hold a seance and attempt to contact Peter Drucker for his endorsement? Do I sit in my current position until my department decides to promote me to a manager sometime toward the dawn of the next century? Am I thinking about this the wrong way? Do people just lie their way into supervision?
tl;dr: I don't have (much/great/useful) supervisory experience on paper. How do I convince someone that I'd be a good supervisor?