Question for HR? Ask HRNasty

By HRNasty

Email your question to Nasty@HRNasty.com

Have a question for HRNasty?

Ever have a question for HR but didn’t want to ask?  Suspicious you wouldn’t get the real skinny?  Ever asked a manager or someone in HR a question and got an answer that made you wonder if person was living in LaLa land? Ever want to call BS?  Wondering about how to for a raise?  Have a manager who doesn’t get it? Co-worker driving you crazy?  I got your back here and will give you the no nonsense, no bullshit answer.

Have a question?  I will pull back the curtain and explain how the man thinks and why.  More importantly, I will explain how you can work within the system without selling your soul. 

Email your questions to Nasty@HRNasty.com or post them in the comments below.

Questions will not be posted without your permission.  “Trust me, I work in HR!”

 

HRNasty

  • Scooby Dude

    Is there ANY way to get real / useful feedback from recruiters…?? It would be very helpful to know why a hiring decision was made or what was the perceived weakness with a given application, but they always seem to hide behind protocol and duck any kind of response. Common courtesy has gone right out the window with HR.

  • Ben

    So I’m a bit confused on this one. I got a call last week from a recruiter, and unfortunately was working at that time so she left a message (Under an unknown caller id, but a message nontheless). I called back and left a message, and got a call back later that day and was able to discuss the job and everything sounded perfect and great.

    Unfortunately I don’t remember exactly what she said in terms of when I would be actually interviewing at the job, just that she would call me back. I was under the impression at least I’d get called back, but it’s been about 6 days and I haven’t heard back. I left a message two days ago (a very simple one asking about following up and what not), and have called once a day now.

    Any reason why this is happening? Is that a bad sign or should I not be too worried?

    -Thanks,

    • http://hrnasty.com/ HRNasty

      Ben,

      thanks for checking out the blog and this is a great question that I hear on a fairly regular basis. This is the second time today actually, so you are not alone. Two things could be happening. The recruiter is swamped and I blogged about that here. http://hrnasty.com/when-do-recruiters-call-back/ And trust me, it is all true.

      The other option and I would need a bit more info is that the recruiter has moved on.

      Either way, you are doing the right thing. Most people have the attitude that if they didn’t hear back, they have been declined. My attitude is different. UNTIL you have been declined, until you have heard a “no”, you are still in the game. Showing you are still interested and thorough by following up is always a great move and one that 99% of candidates do not employ as one of their tactics. You have absolutely nothing to lose by sending up a few follow ups. One more tactic is to share a link with the recruiter that showcases some great news about the company with a congratulations note or sharing a link that may be of interest. Remember, if you haven’t heard a “no”, then you are still in the game.

      Hope this helps and good luck!

      HRN

      • Ben

        HRN,

        Thanks for the fast response! This makes me feel a lot better, though still feeling nerve wracked by the experience. Still haven’t heard back, and I’m kind of kicking myself for not being more direct about asking when the interview would take place.

        It’s good to know that it’s not necessarily over, I’m trying not to get my hopes up but this is ‘definitely’ the right job for me in all ways possible, and I’m very enthusiastic about it and I feel like I presented myself that way on the phone with the recruiter. I don’t think I said anything to not make her call me back, she asked my salary requirements or range and I said 15, and she offered 19 (not sure if that makes me look under qualified/desperate).

        Anyways, thanks again. If all ends well you’ll be one of the first to know! If not I need to get back at it… ugh.

        -Ben

  • gander2112

    I have now seen it all. Just got a cold call from a recruiter to see if I had any open positions for the awesome marketing talent that she was looking to place.

    Have we really come to the point of recruiters cold calling? Stop the planet, I want off.

  • Paul Facemire Jr.

    HRNasty…I’m tired of this crap I see on the web sites of great places to get jobs…I live in a city of over 750,000 people. There is a huge bud light plant close to where I live. There has to be over 1000 people that work at this facility. So i decide to go online and see what positions they have available for this facility. I’m thinking yeah there has to be something. This place is huge. I go online and there’s absolutely nothing open in the city in which i live? BULLSHIT I absolutely refuse to believe it! Does shit not happen at this facility? A place where a thousand people work and shit doesn’t happen and there is nothing open? I don’t get it! What am I missing? How can they get away with that!?

    Another thing man…job boards! Careerbuilder, monster, snagajob! Totally useless! The only jobs on there are jobs for the esteemed expert and the total noob. And the only people that post jobs there are places with turnover through the roof. Well obviously there’s a reason for that so no thanks.

  • pratibha sharma

    Hi ! This is Pratibha. My Scenario is bit different. Because i’m going to work in H.R. Department and the work is regarding technical recruitment for International Placements for petrochemical, oil and gas, mining etc. My question is what should be the key skills to be used over the call with candiates and clients by the H.R. ?

  • Macattaq

    I found a job that fits what I want perfectly. It’s for a Fortune 500 company, in their legal department. Lawyers are super busy, but I was able to figure out the company’s email format and the name of the Director of the sub-department. Is it worth sending a cold email? Or would it be better for me to try and connect with a recruiter on the position (I’m having trouble finding a legal recruiter)?

    • http://hrnasty.com/ HRNasty

      Macattaq,

      Often times you can find a high ranking legal person in a company via LinkedIn and their contact info. If you can attach a name to the email, all the better because super busy people in a large company will forward the email to HR. Send a typed letter (on paper) to the CEO. That will find it’s way to the HR department and HR will treat it with kid gloves. Finding the recruiter for a Fortune 500 company that works legal could be tough. I would use LinkedIn. Good luck and keep me posted!

  • gopher0711

    Hi, I have a question related to something someone else asked (overqualified with a master’s degree?). I recently completed my master’s in HR, and I have about 6 months of HR work experience (as an HR Intern and an Admin Asst in an HR office). I was flat out told by an employer recently that I don’t have enough (and not the “right”) experience for an HR Coordinator position, and that the best they could offer me was a $30,000/yr HR Assistant job (and he doesn’t do the hiring for that position, but would recommend me). He said that they knew I would leave (and rightfully so, he said) once I found something that paid higher. He said that with a master’s I should be making $60,000 but he can’t offer me that with my current experience level.

    Do you have any advice? I have suspected for awhile that this may be why I’m not even getting calls for interviews for a lot of jobs that I am overqualified for. Other people who have recently graduated from the same master’s program have told me that they are facing the same problem. Obviously in my case it probably wouldn’t make sense to leave my master’s degree off my resume because it’s relevant (and my bachelor’s degree is not in HR). Do you have ideas for how I could avoid being overlooked for a lack of experience or too much education, or any ideas for what types of jobs/companies I should be looking at? Thank you!!

  • ST571

    Hello HRNasty, how should you go about wanting to job shadow or informational interview someone in a desired company because they are on the career path that you aspire to, but you do not know anyone?

    • http://hrnasty.com/ HRNasty

      ST571,
      Thanks for stopping by and a great question. I may have to blog on this one.
      Lets say you didn’t know anything about the game of golf but wanted to learn more about it. Not necessarily go out and buy the equipment but learn more? Yes, you could watch some golf, but if the pro golfers are the ones making a living at this and our “out of our reach”, I am sure there are plenty of amateurs out there that are reachable. For me, I would think about my friends. Who plays golf? Who is retired and may know someone else that plays golf? Who belongs to a gold / country club? This would be my first stop. If I didn’t know anyone, I would post to Facebook. “I want to learn about golf, who will take me golfing and let me drive the cart”. See where I am headed with this?

      Network. You don’t know anyone, but I am sure your friends, neighbors, co workers, may no someone. Your significant other, you uncle may know someone.

      You don’t get if you don’t ask. Just start letting everyone you know that “I want to learn more about x. Do you know someone I could buy coffee for and pick their brain?” WHen you meet that person ask them “do you know anyone else I could talk with?”

      Hope this helps and good luck

      HRNasty

  • Kelley

    Hi! I just found your blog and have been reading it for the past hour taking breaks only to like you on FB and connect with you on LinkedIn! I have a question for you. I am a “more mature” candidate–in my early 50’s. I have a long and successful career in the for profit education industry. But, my luck ran out a couple of months ago and I got laid off. No big deal. I have enjoyed the down time. But, now it is time to get back to business. But, since I had the benefit of some self-reflection time I discovered that I really want to work at what I am most passionate about and what I am most confident in doing and that is corporate training. I have tons of experience in facilitating and training in this country and inside of ten foreign countries. But, my degrees are not in HR which is where this position normally resides. I did some research and decided my best bet was to create a functional resume in order to highlight transferable skills rather than the industry (education). I have gotten absolutely nowhere. I have read mixed reviews about functional resumes. Do you have a position on this? If you have already posted about this please feel free to tell me the link. I appreciate your time.

    • http://hrnasty.com/ HRNasty

      Kelley, thanks for all your support and just connected on LinkedIn. Thank you! I do believe in these resumes. I come from a T&D background that reported into HR and although my background is in HR, most of the facilitators did NOT have an HR background. My initial thought is that if you are “mature”, are you listing a long career of training and development? You will probably only be hired for what you did in the last 5-10 years, so one thought is to limit your experience to this. Listing a career of 25 years is probably long, diverse and “deep”. Although companies may want “deep” experience, we don’t need to list everything. Just list what is pertinent to the job. If the company is looking for management training, diversity training, leave off any Microsoft Office training, or propriety software training. Although it is related to training, it is just giving the illusion of a LONG career and isn’t what the hiring company is interested in. Hopefully this helps.

  • gander2112

    For the Nasty one,

    Every company I have been at in a product management role for the last 12 years or so has some really messed up pay scale categories.

    My last company used “benchmarks” and “national surveys” to map the product manager job codes and pay scales by region. However, they were about 50% off the mark from both my personal experience, and from the Pragmatic Marketing annual PM survey.

    Are these benchmarked salary ranges just wrong, or do they purposely set the scale so low?

    The real issue is that when I was trying to hire a product manager, every decent candidate that met the requirements and skills was looking for $120K +. (this matched well with the Pragmatic Survey, by the way) But HR told me that the midpoint for the PM3 role was 70K.

    I have my theories, but will wait for your insight before I chime in.

    • http://hrnasty.com/ HRNasty

      Gander,
      You always bring up great points, thanks for the question. I don’t know if a PM3 is more senior than a PM1, but I don’t know the last time I saw a Product Manager or even a Program Manager or Project Manager (not sure what PM we are talking about) with 5-7 experience came in under 100k. Product Manager roles are the trickiest to hire for in my opinion because every company has a different idea of what a Product Manager is. Some have technical requirements others do not. Some have technical requirements but do not require prior roles as a developer. Some require they play Program / Project manager as well. Some are more marketing based and others will give full responsibility over P/L and features where others are customer driven. It is tough to figure out what your role and even if we had more descriptions, it would probably still be tough. That being said, it is very difficult to follow salary’s unless they are very recent (within the last 3 months) AND they are done by someone in your local city. I don’t care for the national surveys where they give a multiplier per city. I really don’t care for Salary.com. I have always relied on the market and just asking a few local recruiters from DIFFERENT agencies should be enable you to triangulate your position and salary. 70K would be a Product Manager with very little experience in my mind. This would be someone who is in training or supporting a much more Sr. person.

      Hope this helps!

      • gander2112

        Good response. I have long suspected it was due to the difficulty in defining the role, and what is expected of the successful candidate.

        I agree that I have always found the nationwide surveys with fudge factors for regional variance.

        One thing that has been difficult in attracting talent is that I am in an area without a deep pool of candidates, so we often need to attract someone from one of the hot spots (Austin, SF Bay Area, Chicago, Boston). While our cost of living is a lot lower, you can’t adjust someone’s salary down enough to fit the local norms. Then the job sits unfilled for a long time.

        I also suspect that a lot of HR people don’t grok product management. They see the category “project manager” and think that is a good fit, but it really isn’t.

        Appreciate the answer.

        • http://hrnasty.com/ HRNasty

          Gander, you mentioned that you live in an area that has a cost of living that is a lot lower. That does make it tough, because I have found very few instances where a candidate will move from city that has a higher cost of living to one where the cost of living is less AND take less money. I realize the company is running a business but very few candidates will want to take a cut in pay. (If they are currently un employed, that will be different) The way to attract is to pay the rate they were making in the city with the higher COLA. An exception to this where I think you can meet half way in the middle is if someone is coming from a San Fran (very high COLA) to a smaller town like a Boulder. Most candidates get that it isn’t SF. The candidate probably won’t be getting a raise for awhile and if they do, it won’t be an aggressive one, but unless I was a ski fanatic, moving to a place like Boulder from a financial perspective will be tough. This is where selling the candidate on the city, the lifestyle, and the spouse really comes into play. I have worked in companies where there were offices in multipel states and countries. If we were moving an employee from a San Fran to a Nebraska we wouldn’t ask them to take a cut in pay. Even if the employee applied for the position vs. the company “asks” the employee to make the move, companies don’t generally take pay down. Nothing new here, just additional perspective.

          • gander2112

            Pretty much my experience.

            As a laugher, at a job, living in a low cost of living area, they wanted me to move to a stupidly high cost of living area (Tucson AZ to Santa Barbara CA), and HR said that the salary uplift would be only 5%.

            Excuse me. $1m will buy you a 600sqft cottage in that city.

  • Steve

    How would you handle prior arrests and criminal convictions? I know people with arrests and charges ranging from a DUI to assaulting a police officer. Sometimes it doesn’t come up in an interview or as part of the screening/interview process, but most of the time it does. How would you recommend handling questions about this, and what are your thoughts on these from an HR perspective?

    • http://hrnasty.com/ HRNasty

      Steve, thanks for stopping by. This is a great question and always a tough one. At the end of the day, information like this is going to come out. All it takes is a simple background check which companies with any size will do because now they are so easy and so cheap to run online. 15 years ago, this was a big deal, not so much anymore. My advice is to not hide it. Admit to it, and make no excuses. It doesn’t matter who is to blame or what reason is provided it will be in in the report. The most important thing I think anyone can do is to explain what was learned from the experience and how sorry they are. What did the experience of the DUI do for that individual? Are they still drinking or giving talks on drinking and driving at the local high school during prom season and graduation? Remember, no one likes a surprise least of all a recruiter or a hiring manager. Hopefully this helps. The other thing that will make a difference is the presentation layer. What is the first impression that the candidate is presenting. If a candidate has any sort of record, they should make sure to not just be presentable, but to be the poster child employee for that company. A disheveled candidate with a record is tough to get past. Great question!

  • Kaneda

    Greetings…..I have a serious question which I think merits some debate. I have been working for ‘company x’ for about 8 months….during which I have assumed the top sales role with numbers to back it up. 3 weeks ago, while working remote…..CEO calls and ‘axes’ 4 people including myself stating ‘restructuring’. Turns out, the company hired 5 more people weeks after. Is this legal? I kinda feel cheated. Mind you….I come to find out that these new people are benefiting from my labours. Like what gives????

    • http://hrnasty.com/ HRNasty

      Kaneda,

      Really sorry to hear about your situation. These things are never fair, and unfortunately this is “business”. The answer to this depends on a number of things including what country and state you work in. If you work in an “at will” state the company can let you go for no reason and at the end of the day they can call it what they want. I know this is no consolation, but be glad you were “laid off” vs. fired. I know this is NOT what you want to hear, but if you can, move on as quickly as possible. I know this is heartless, and I apologize, but you are not going to want to work for a company like this, and getting legal help to try and get your job back will will be costly and only hinder you landing your next job. I really don’t have much for you here. Really sorry! I literally have nothing for you.

  • Henry

    I have recently accepted a new position with a new company and start in few weeks. I have already given my 2 weeks. I have another company wanting to interview me, but when. I have interview for this other company I will already be no longer employed with my current employer. At the new interview do I act like I still work the company I quit?

    • http://hrnasty.com/ HRNasty

      Henry, thanks for stopping by and great question. If I am reading your questions correctly, here is how you go Nasty. Interview with the new company. Explain that you recently quit your old job because you already accepted the new job. Based on the fact that you want to interview with the 2nd company, I am assuming you are interested, and maybe more interested in the 2nd company than the company you accepted a position with.

      I am also assuming that if they want to talk with you, that you applied to the second company. Say something like this; I want to be up front with you (2nd company). I have already accepted a new position and I start in 2 weeks. I would be happy to meet with you because I was very interested in what you guys do and frankly, you are my first choice. I would like to move quickly though because I do have another offer out there and would want to give them as much heads up as possible. If it turns out that the position isn’t right for me, I may know someone that can help out.

      This accomplishes a few things: Gets you talking with company no. 2. Lets them know that you are interested in company no. 2, gives them a sense of urgency such that they can’t take 2 months to figure this out and then lastly, gives a legitimate and understandable reason for why you are not working.

      hope that helps,

  • http://twitter.com/MandatoryPoster Easybusinessposters

    I want to know whether your blog accept guest blog or not, please tell me if you are interested in it. Hope for your reply! Thanks! 

  • CvDrocell

    How would I answer the question “Why do you want to work for this company?”
    The job I’m applying for is part-time work in a shop.

  • http://hrnasty.com/ HRNasty

    Proracer42x,
    Thanks for stopping by and an absolutely great question.  I should have thought to blog about this, because I know this is an F’d up thing that makes no sense and needs further explanation.

    As an HR recruiter, I also have been the recipient of more than a few gracious offers to have a trial period from a candidate for “nothing”.  It is absolutely a great show of faith, and I think it takes a real confidence in one’s ability to make this kind of offer.  Please believe me (I won’t say trust) when I say I really admire this move and every time I have heard it, it was VERY sincere.  

    That being said, here is where it gets tricky from the business perspective.  Yes, I understand there are “releases” unfortunately the government doesn’t look favorably on employers who receive work “for free”.  This is considered one step removed from the the turn of the century where employers would take advantage of employees.  Since then laws have been put into place to avoid just these types of situations regardless of whose idea a “work for free” type gig is.  Although your intentions are good, the laws are looking out for employees that could be taken advantage of in a situation like this.  It would be easy to say you will work 1 month for free and then at the end of the month, the employer says “we need another month” to figure this out.  Yes, it is your decision, but you can imagine how some companies would take advantage of this.

    In regards to interns, the Labor Dept has a strict 6 point test to determine whether one is qualified for an intern or trainee and separate guidelines for independent contractors.  

    All that being said, even if it were legal, from a “personal standpoint” as the guy in HR, I do NOT want anyone working for free.  It’s not fair to the person working for free.  It will get out that this person is on a trial basis, trust me (And I use the word TRUST here).  And now everyone around the person doesn’t feel right.  No one feels comfortable with it.  This is not a good reflection on the company.  If the company opened a position, it shouldn’t try to go cheap and save 1 months salary with a trial.  It should rely on the interview process and skills of the hiring manager and man the Frick up and make the hire. 

    I appreciate anyone who makes this offer, and I don’t take it lightly.  From a legal standpoint, for the safety of the candidate, and to bring us out of a time where illegal hiring practices were rampant, this is not the way a company should be run.  

    Hope this helps

    HRNasty

  • Proracer42x

    Title: HR Moron ALert
    What about when applying for a part time job, you graciously offer your services to the HR rep of the company, an opportunity to mutually benefit both parties:
    A one month trial basis for me to work the position for F-R-E-E,  N-A-D-A,  N-O-T-H-I-N-G before making a decision? No strings, just free labor. 
    Further, if liability is the problem (which well structured and decisive businesses don’t have a problem with),  then you would think that they would have something in place such as ; I don’t know, a release form like they do for volunteering at a hospital or library.
    I mean it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to think of things like this. But it does take two HR people to actually say the company doesn’t do that (while almost acting appalled at such a suggestion – get over yourself). 
    Wouldn’t this show the business that you are willing to commit and prove how your work ethic is rather than having them guess at how well you will perform? No wonder the system is broken.
    Unbelievable.

    • http://hrnasty.com/ HRNasty

      Proracer42x,Thanks for stopping by and an absolutely great question.  I should have thought to blog about this, because I know this is an F’d up thing that makes no sense and needs further explanation.
      As an HR recruiter, I also have been the recipient of more than a few gracious offers to have a trial period from a candidate for “nothing”.  It is absolutely a great show of faith, and I think it takes a real confidence in one’s ability to make this kind of offer.  Please believe me (I won’t say trust) when I say I really admire this move and every time I have heard it, it was VERY sincere.  
      That being said, here is where it gets tricky from the business perspective.  Yes, I understand there are “releases” unfortunately the government doesn’t look favorably on employers who receive work “for free”.  This is considered one step removed from the the turn of the century where employers would take advantage of employees.  Since then laws have been put into place to avoid just these types of situations regardless of whose idea a “work for free” type gig is.  Although your intentions are good, the laws are looking out for employees that could be taken advantage of in a situation like this.  It would be easy to say you will work 1 month for free and then at the end of the month, the employer says “we need another month” to figure this out.  Yes, it is your decision, but you can imagine how some companies would take advantage of this.
      In regards to interns, the Labor Dept has a strict 6 point test to determine whether one is qualified for an intern or trainee and separate guidelines for independent contractors.  
      All that being said, even if it were legal, from a “personal standpoint” as the guy in HR, I do NOT want anyone working for free.  It’s not fair to the person working for free.  It will get out that this person is on a trial basis, trust me (And I use the word TRUST here).  And now everyone around the person doesn’t feel right.  No one feels comfortable with it.  This is not a good reflection on the company.  If the company opened a position, it shouldn’t try to go cheap and save 1 months salary with a trial.  It should rely on the interview process and skills of the hiring manager and man the Frick up and make the hire. 
      I appreciate anyone who makes this offer, and I don’t take it lightly.  From a legal standpoint, for the safety of the candidate, and to bring us out of a time where illegal hiring practices were rampant, this is not the way a company should be run.  
      Hope this helps
      HRNasty

      • Proracer42x

         Thanks for your input, as it goes to show that it is extremely obvious that yes the system of business is broken and by reading what has been said in your explanation, an overhaul needs to be done on this issue across the board. Nowadays businesses just cannot think or function like business as usual anymore. The company in reference is a museum and it’s a non-profit organization so it’s being run with the mindset of a corporation and not as a non-profit. The position is for greeting people at the door for God sake. As someone who is in the Intellectual Property environment and as lackadaisical as attorneys are about you patent ideas and letting other people see them,but there is absolutely no way I will be convinced that the decision-making at the top is right. F’em and feed em beans. Thanks for this blog by the way. I’ve got another doozie for you soon.

      • Proracer42x

         Oh I also found out that they indeed have a volunteer system in place as well, so really this makes no sense to deny a person the option to offer their services for free for thirty days before a hire takes place. So this is what I am going to do: Get on the volunteer list. Damn I should write a paper on this whole procedure

        • http://hrnasty.com/ HRNasty

          Proracer43X,
          I admire your resolve and tenacity.  I myself have tried to volunteer at various places to deliver Job Interview Training sessions and it is amazing how often people will doubt you.  Twice now I have been asked (within the first 20 seconds of introductions) “are you doing this to fulfill a Community Service requirement?”.  My advice is become a volunteer and don’t let anyone know you are interested in a paid gig.  You will lose leverage when the cat is out of the bag.  Get to the point where they are asking you to apply for a position.  When they ask, you have the leverage.   Good luck

  • http://hrnasty.com/ HRNasty

    Animated Suspension,
    I would be positive in your exit interview.  No need to burn any bridges.  Let them know you are leaving because you are getting a better opportunity, you are getting a full time gig, or the company is closer in line to your passions.  Give them reasons that they won’t be able to combat.  No need to say anything about crappy managers, because you never know when someone may be doing a reference check, or back channel a reference check.  Disparage a manager or departement head to HR and that person will probably never forget you.  Trust your gut!  :) 

  • Animated Suspension

    Here’s one for you, Nasty: should you be honest in the exit interview? Methinks not…

    • hrnasty

      Animated Suspension,
      I would be positive in your exit interview.  No need to burn any bridges.  Let them know you are leaving because you are getting a better opportunity, you are getting a full time gig, or the company is closer in line to your passions.  Give them reasons that they won’t be able to combat.  No need to say anything about ineffective managers, because you never know when someone may be doing a reference check, or back channel a reference check.  Disparage a manager or departement head to HR and that person will probably never forget you.  Trust your gut!  :) 

    • http://hrnasty.com/ HRNasty

      Animated Suspension,
      I would be positive in your exit interview.  No need to burn any bridges.  Let them know you are leaving because you are getting a better opportunity, you are getting a full time gig, or the company is closer in line to your passions.  Give them reasons that they won’t be able to combat.  No need to say anything about crappy managers, because you never know when someone may be doing a reference check, or back channel a reference check.  Disparage a manager or departement head to HR and that person will probably never forget you.  Trust your gut!  :) 

    • Proracer42x

       If it is a large company, I would suggest that if they want you to sign anything during the exit process, tell them on the advice of your attorney that I do not need to sign anything.

  • inquirer

    When writing  cover letters, is it still o.k to start out with “To whom it concerns” or is that going out of style? Is there any good suggestions you can give me? Should a letter maybe start with “____staff members”? Thanks for your time. I really like the info on this website

    • hrnasty

      Thanks for the email and a great question! I think it is “OK” to address an letter with “To who it concerns”, but I think you are best using that as a last resort. With LinkedIn, social connections and Google, you should be able to triangulate a couple of folks that work close to the position you are applying for. This is a Nasty trick, but also address your letter directly to the CEO of the company and the VP level or C level person of the department you are looking to get into. These people WILL be listed in LinkedIn and you can be assured that if an letter comes to the CEO it will be routed directly to HR and it will be read. It will be treated with kid gloves.

      Good luck and hope this helps!

      HRNasty

    • http://hrnasty.com/ HRNasty

      inquirer,
      I am really sorry, I could have sworn I responded to this earlier.  Sorry for the delay.  In the grand scale of salutations, especially on a cover letter, although I think you can get away with it, if you can avoid this one, it is best.  Check Linkedin and try to triangulate a department head in HR, or the department head of the discipline you are interested in.  If you are interested in marketing, look up the VP or Director of Marketing in Linkedin using the “advanced” search feature.  The other route to go is to send a letter directly to the CEO, President and the COO.  This letter will be routed to the HR department and once there will be treated with kid gloves because HR won’t know if this is the CEO’s nephew or some guy off the street.  You may not know the individual, but sending it to a department head and addressing them by name usually gets someone attention.  Lastly, just call up the company and ask the receptionist for some help.  If you are nice and tell them your story, they will usually help out.  Good luck