Thursday, July 07, 2011

I get jobs with a little help from my friends

Maybe there's something to this law of attraction. Today my friend Rina emailed me a job posted on the New York Nonprofit News website. I wasn't sure it was right for me, but I sent in my resume, then browsed the other listings. And saw a really great opportunity at an agency... whose General Counsel and Secretary, Yehudis, happens to be a friend of mine. Not an extremely close friend, but still a friend.

So I sent them my resume and then emailed Yehudis on Facebook:

Hi Yehudis, hope you are well. Are you still at (the agency)?

She wrote back:

yes, why? Please respond to yehudismalka@hotmail.com. I don't really use FB.

I forwarded her my resume and cover letter, and added:

Just wanted to let you know I applied to this position. I have almost 3 years of experience in substance abuse and dual diagnosis treatment, and I'm used to homeless shelters. I hope it's not unethical of me to reach out to you like this; I wouldn't do it if I didn't believe I'm qualified for the job.

I don't like asking for help, and I'm not very good at it. Fortunately, Yehudis is gracious:

Hi Ayelet:

I am very glad that you reached out to me. Not unethical at all.

Can you send me the post so that I can see who I need to contact and at what site the position will be? It seems that it's at (location). I am in touch with all of the directors related to that program. Please let me know so that I can reach out to them about your application. It seems like it is just being sent to HR who will just direct the resumes, but I can reach out to all directly. Very happy to do so.

All the best, Yehudis

I sent her the job description. She wrote:

I see that the position reports to the Outpatient Clinic Director. I know who to contact. Is there anything in particular that you would like me to say?

Wow. What do I ask for? I don't want to go too far.

Just that you've known me for a long time, that I'm very passionate about the work and you believe I'm qualified for the position. Thanks again for doing this.

Of course, later I thought of (and sent her) this:

Also you could mention that when I was in my second year of social work school, part of my fieldwork included weekly visits to (the big homeless shelter where her agency has a few programs), and that I'm not intimidated by that population.

I should have said "I like working with that population" but I'm not going to email her AGAIN. We'll see what happens. Hopefully I'll at least get an interview.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

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