Apply first and then approach, or approach and then apply?
May 13, 2013 6:36 PM   Subscribe

Help me time and properly approach a senior member of our staff to become their full time assistant.

I'm an intern with an organization in DC. I've been there for about three months part time, and was just given the nod to stay on through the summer full time or until I find a job (They know I'm searching.)

Over the last week, half of my duties have been with a specific individual in a different wing helping her manage the visits of foreign government officials. Today, A job posting went up to work below her as the assistant to her office.

I think it's pretty clear what they were doing sending me over to her for a trial run. I'm afraid that due to finals week, my transition from part time to full time, and the influx of work I've had put on my shoulders I haven't been my best, even if I was getting all of my work done.

I'm not perfectly qualified for the position, but I do fit a lot of the criteria. I want to apply.

That all said, My question - Do I just approach her and say "I saw the job posting, would you be willing to consider me during this time as a potential applicant and I will be submitting my resume soon" or, do I submit my resume and then approach her and say "I submitted my resume for this position, would you be willing to use our time working together now as a consideration?" OR - do I wait until after this event we're setting up, if everything goes well, and then apply?
posted by Atticus Swanson to Work & Money (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I think neither. Apply, and then when you next see her, mention that you saw the position and you applied. Tell her you've learned a lot working with her and you're really interested in the job. Then walk away, don't ask her for any feedback or a commitment at that point. You'll have made sure she connects the application with you, and you haven't awkwardly put her on the spot about giving you a job. Voila!
posted by yogalemon at 6:43 PM on May 13, 2013 [4 favorites]

I'm 75 percent in agreement with yogalemon, but I would add, after you've told her you applied, ask, "What can I do to make myself a more attractive candidate?" Except I wouldn't say "attractive" but I cannot for the life of me think of the word I'm thinking of there. But don't ask her whether you're already attractive-or-whatever-word, because that puts her on the spot.

And don't do this when there's work to be done -- for you or for her.
posted by Etrigan at 6:48 PM on May 13, 2013

I would apply and then, in passing and with respect to her busy schedule, hand her my resume and let her know that I applied and am very interested in learning more by working for her. Look her in the eye and smile with confidence. Show her that you are capable of asking for something directly without fanfare or drama, and you are prepared for success (resume ready).
posted by myselfasme at 6:55 PM on May 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

I would just apply, and then if you want to mention it and think it would be advantageous, you should while she isn't busy but you're already having a conversation. I absolutely would not say something that amounts to "Will you hire me?" That really puts her on the spot and is pushy. But you can say you submitted an application and reiterate your interest in the position and leave it at that so she doesn't feel compelled to assess your chances of getting the job mid-conversation. The biggest advantage you have in your pre-existing relationship is being able to show your interest and enthusiasm for the job, but it would also be easy to take it too far into annoying awkward territory, so just be mindful of that.
posted by AppleTurnover at 9:22 AM on May 14, 2013

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