When my wife and I moved to Chicago, we had no connections here. No jobs, no family, and minimal money. The assumption was that I would be able to find a job in short order. Before we moved, I updated my resume, applied online to many jobs, and then sat back and waited.
When the move was over and we had settled in, I still did not have a job. I had a couple of leads, but they were at companies that are considered resume stains in my profession. Still, a crappy job beats no job, so I bit the bullet, called the hiring manager, and got hired at the Resume Stain.
After one shift I had had enough. While the people were nice, the job and the company were crap. I began formulating plans for my escape. I applied to more jobs online and then waited. That is how one applies for a job, right?
Wrong. I was listening to public radio and a story came on about how people seeking work would fill out online applications, post their resume to Monster, and then just wait for a job to fall into their laps. Listening to this it struck me how absurd and un-manly that was. Unless you can poop golden eggs, you are just one faceless resume in a sea of thousands. I decided to get my job the manly way: with hard work, initiative, and elbow grease.
I printed my resume, wrote a custom cover letter for the company I was applying to, and signed it in pen. I folded these items up into an envelope and addressed it to the hiring manager, put on my good suit and tie, and drove down to the company.
It struck me that what I was about to do--to cold-call a hiring manager--was risky. He could be in a bad mood, or out of the office. Any number of bad things could happen. But I wanted this job, and I had nothing to lose.
I choked down my nerves, straightened my tie, put on a big confident smile and strode through the doors. A little sniffing around brought me to the managers office. I knocked on the door, introduced myself with a big smile and a handshake, and before he knew it he had my resume and cover letter in his hands. I explained myself. "Just didn't want to be another face in the crowd, thought I'd take a little initiative and stop by in person." He sat me down for an interview, and an hour later I left with a promise from him that he'd be in touch.
A few days later I got a phone call and a job offer. Soon, I will be employed at a company that I respect and that has a great reputation. I got the job I actually wanted, not just one I was randomly hired for from the internet. I got a good job at a good company, and I got to make that critical first impression a good one, all by eschewing the trappings of the internet job hunt for the old-fashioned manly way of getting a job. Another victory for manliness!