Another "help me land my dream job" question
November 7, 2012 4:40 PM   Subscribe

A week ago a applied for a municipal goverment job that I really, really, really want to get.

I believe a can bring a lot of value to the position and enjoy the daily responsibilities. I feel is the right fit for me. I found the post on the city webpage which linked my to a a goverment jobs website, I applied there. I have seen the job posted on a couple of other sites as well.
I understand that the best way to land the job is networking but I don't know anybody who works there, I don't even know anyone living on that city, that is one of my concerns. The city has a directory with the human resources manager's name, phone number and email address. Should I reach out to her to express my interest on the job? I don't know what to say to get right effect.
Another concerns is my lack of goverment experience. I don't see it as a problem but I'm afraid the may disqualify me because of that. I didn't address that on my cover letter. I don't know if that is something I should mention. If that is something they don't care much I don't want to point it out. Should I applied on any of the other sites and address that on my cover letter?
I appreciate any advise I can get to improve my chances to get hired. Thanks!
posted by 3dd to Work & Money (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Please note that I work for a local government and this answer is coming from my experience; other governments may be run differently, depending on where you are.

I would only suggest maybe reaching out to the HR manager if it's actually an HR job. Hiring decisions in my county are made by managers of whatever department you're applying for. HR's hand in the process is basically: accepting applications and forwarding them to departments, reviewing salary and job description of the position to make sure they are appropriate for the budget or union contract, running the appropriate background checks, then signing off on the department's choice.

That said, if I were you I would not do much more than maybe also send a copy of your resume to the deputy director of whatever department you're going for along with a (short!) email expressing your interest. If you're supposed to apply through the HR department, that's kind of what they expect you to do and in some departments, contacting anyone beyond that may be considered a nuisance.

Not to get your hopes down, but I also think you should keep actively applying to other positions and trying not to hinge too much on this one. In the county I work for, the ONLY way to get a job is to know someone. Every single person hired into my office, including myself, had a connection to the top. In government, sadly, they often have to know your name before you apply.
posted by houndsoflove at 5:54 PM on November 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: If you've already applied, don't apply again through another site. Hopefully your cover letter addressed what you said at the beginning -- you think you can bring a lot of value to the organization and would enjoy the responsibilities.

I work for a city and I agree with houndsoflove that the hiring decision is made at the department level, or even within a specific workgroup of the department -- contacting HR wouldn't help, unless the job is in HR, and even then, I don't know if it would help. Your application and cover letter should, hopefully, demonstrate that you're a good fit for the job.

FWIW, I got a call from someone I know socially a few weeks ago and who also donates materials to the library where I work, recommending a friend of his who had applied for a job in another department of the library. I passed the recommendation on, though I doubt it helped at all. Then, the following week, I got a call from the guy who applied directly. I explained to him that I didn't even know who was on the hiring committee for the job he applied for, but I had forwarded the recommendation from our mutual friend to the head of the department. I did not let them know that I had heard from him, because it's unusual and annoying enough to get a cold-call like that, much less from two different people. Unless you know someone in the department you are applying in (which it sounds like you don't), there's nothing else you can do to help you get the job. And bugging them has a greater-than-zero probablility of actually hurting your chances, since that's not how we do things. They have your application materials, you're done unless and until you get a call for an interview.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 9:44 AM on November 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: thanks for the inside view.
posted by 3dd at 5:17 PM on November 12, 2012

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