I don’t encounter this a lot but from time to time an employer will post a job opening that is anonymous. I suppose it could be for a couple of reasons. Perhaps they don’t want over-zealous job seekers to contact them about questions or possibly to prevent their current staff from knowing.
Whatever the reason, it creates a challenge for the job seeker. I think it also undermines the employer’s ability to find the best candidate. Simply put, lots of job seekers will pass if they don’t know who they are applying to.
Knowing who you are applying to levels the playing field – both parties are aware of each other. Job seekers can learn about the company and customize their marketing.
Here are a couple tips for managing this situation.
Sometimes you can figure out who an office is by simply Googling a fax or phone number, or e-mail address they include. Most of the time when I have done this for a client it has worked.
There are two exceptions, however. Craig’s List gives employers the option of creating an anonymous email address that funnels applications to their real one. And, second, when an office uses a recruiter to locate applicants.
Sometimes you can find little clues in the announcement. Some employers will list the scope of their business or maybe information about their customer that will give them away.
Work With What You Have
If you simply can’t locate who they are but are still interested in the job then move forward. While you may not know anything about the office itself or who works there, you can at least acknowledge the type of employee they are looking for.
There are two types of skills and experience you have, technical and soft:
- Technical Skills are tangible abilities, knowledge, or certifications you possess. Could be tied to software or an ability to perform a certain task based on an experience you have with it.
- Soft Skills are less-tangible. They have to do with your personality, habits, and traits. They may be harder to articulate and evaluate because they are based on perceptions, but they are still very powerful. Often they are given more weight or consideration by employers.
Nearly all job announcements will list a number of both technical and soft skill qualifiers. Since you don’t know what the company is, you have to base your marketing efforts on these qualifiers.
So, with each one, align yourself with them. If they say they need someone with an outgoing personality, be sure to include that in your resume and cover letter. Likewise, if they need someone with experience using Microsoft Excel, communicate your experience with that.
In an ideal world, where you know who the employer is, you could take it a step further. In many of the cover letters I write for clients I will visit the website or social media page of the office to gather information. Sometimes it’s just to get a sense of who the company, but either way I use that information in the cover letter and resume.
Job hunting is a lot like dating. You always want to put your best foot forward to create a connection or match. So aligning yourself as a solution to that company’s problem is critically important.
So pay close attention to the words used in the announcement. Don’t use their exact words or sentences, just find a suitable synonym. For example, instead of “dependable,” you could use “stable,” “steady” and “consistent” as alternate words with similar meaning.
Testimonial sheets can also help reinforce you as the best candidate. If you have collected lots of testimonials from customers, co-workers, and employers over the years, hand-select those that communicate what the potential employer needs.
Anonymous job postings should be illegal – in my opinion – but there are some ways to deal with them that will still allow you stand out and differentiate yourself, helping you land a great dental hygiene job.
Doug Perry is an expert resume writer and job search coach. He and his wife, Tracie, who is a dental hygienist, created GetHiredRDH in response to the challenging dental hygiene job market and have helped thousands of dental hygienists through tips and individual services. If you need individual, click here to contact Doug.