Richie Norton

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This Trick will Help You Land Your Dream Job

Cowboy Jason Stanley performing a riding trick at the Round-Up, Pendleton, Oregon


It’s not really a trick; it’s a skill. Something simple anyone can do, but they don’t. It’s common sense, not commonly practiced. However, when people leverage this skill correctly, it’s amazingly effective. It took this person 5 years to finally figure out this skill and it paid off big time. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time to watch it all unfold.

Here is a Play-by-Play of An Actual Hiring Interview that I Witnessed

Hiring Manager:


Shake hands with Applicant.


Here is a copy of my résumé.

Hiring Manager looks for 2 seconds and puts on clipboard.

Hiring Manager:

I hear you know Bobby.

(Names changed for privacy and because it’s fun to change names…and Bobby is a cool name, so is Steve.)


I actually know Steve, who introduced me to Bobby.

Hiring Manager:

That probably helps you more!


Hiring Manager and Applicant talk about this new “discovery” of common friend(s). Interview then goes on as normal for several questions. Then, the Hiring Manager starts previewing the résumé.

PAUSE! I need to point something out. This is the FIRST time the Hiring Manager has seen the résumé. This fact will become more important to you as the interview goes on.

Hiring Manager:

Why did you leave Company X?

Chit chat goes on. The applicant lets the Hiring Manager talk a lot. They get side tracked.

PAUSE! Letting the Hiring Manager talk, as long as it builds rapport, is a good thing. It helps the Hiring Manager know (at least subconsciously) that he or she can get along with the Applicant during the day-to-day craziness at work.

Hiring Manager:

Why do you want to work at this company?


I’ve been applying here for 5 years.

Hiring Manager:

I’m sorry we missed you for 5 years. You have to do something to get in here in this day and age. We get 10-15 applicants a day. Name dropping got you in. I’m not above name dropping.

PAUSE! Let that one soak in. Here’s that quote is one more time:

“I’m sorry we missed you for 5 years. You have to do something to get in here in this day and age. We get 10-15 applicants a day. Name dropping got you in. I’m not above name dropping.”

Do you see what happened here? The applicant had been applying for FIVE YEARS and was “missed” by the Hiring Manager. Oops! Sorry about that. However, finally when Bobby introduced the applicant to Steve (who worked at the store), the Applicant suddenly got in.

Then why did the Applicant provide a résumé?

The résumé is a formality.

Something to check off the list and put in the file for HR.


Do you know why Hiring Managers have paper shredders? To throw away the 10-15 résumés they get a day. Note that 10-15 résumés a day in a 6 day workweek is 240-360 résumés a month! Think that’s bad? Google got 75,000 résumés in one week!

  • ACTION: Instead of getting tossed out like rubbish, find a way to get referred to the Hiring Manager. This is the difference between fishing for a job an hunting for a job. You can watch a video about the difference between fishing for a job and hunting for a job here: Resumes Are Dead: Should You Be Hunting or Fishing for a Job?


Guess who takes the heat if the new hire fails? Guess who might get fired if the talent isn’t talented? That’s right: the Hiring Manager. Not fun.

Many times, when you’re on the line trying to get a job, the Hiring Manager’s job is also on the line. He or she is staking his or her reputation on you. Especially when you consider that they have hundreds of other people to choose from! For example,

  • Instead of playing the Russian Roulette Résumés Game and randomly hiring from a stack of papers, Hiring Managers go to sources they can trust to choose who they will hire. They trust trustworthy referrals. That’s why Hiring Managers use the résumé to filter people out and then go around the accumulated stack of résumés to hire those they feel they can trust most–someone that was referred.
  • The Applicant in the above interview was able to bypass all the hundreds of other people waiting in line to get interviewed and go straight to the top–in this case, the Hiring Manager was the top.
  • Plus, if something goes wrong with the new hire, guess who the Hiring Manager can blame? That’s right, the referrer can become the fall guy.

Hiring Managers want a no-risk proposition. It’s like back in the days when IBM computers were the most trusted computers. It was a career risk for a purchaser to buy any brand computer other than IBM. The phrase “nobody ever got fired for buying IBM equipment” became commonplace. IBM was safe. Likewise, today it could be said “nobody ever got fired for hiring the bosses referral.”

  • ACTION: If possible, get a referral from someone high on the totem pole or someone that has credibility with the Hiring Manager. I teach ways to meet people in an authentic, trust-building way in my book Résumés Are Dead and What to Do About It – this link will take you to get your free PDF and/or Kindle – (free status subject to change).


It took the Applicant in this true story five years to realize that sending in a résumé wasn’t working. (Don’t let that be you.) When the Applicant finally got a referral, magic happened.

  • ACTION: If you’ve been applying for a job, but haven’t heard back, and you really, really, really want to work there: apply again. This time however, apply differently. You can watch eight different videos that I made with all sorts of ideas to help you get your dream job here: Mightybell: Résumés Are Dead (Teacher 2.0).

Keep making waves!

Enjoy life!

Written by on June 19, 2012 | Permalink | Trackbacks (0) Topics:



10 Comments post a comment
  1. Shelly Jun 19th 2:57 pm

    This was fantastic reading, Richie! I get so motivated as I read your words of wisdom!

  2. Jan Jun 19th 3:23 pm

    Thanks for the great advice Richie!

  3. Gabriela ramirez Jun 19th 11:47 pm

    This is great advice! Thanks for sharing :)

  4. Tommy J Jul 12th 11:25 am

    great stuff! love the the contrast between fishing and hunting. They don’t call fishing “catching” for a reason.

  5. Marc Allred Aug 14th 2:39 pm

    I like that I can see you have used these ideas yourself and aren’t just talking about principles you’ve read. Nothing is a bIgger turn off than feeling like someone is being disingenuous. Great ideas richie and great example. thanks.

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