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Getting Past the Gatekeeper

Getting beyond the gatekeepers can be one of the most challenging for jobseekers.Gatekeepers can be those most obvious, such as administrative or personal assistants to the company’s hiring managers, department heads, and executives. But, gatekeepers can be those in less obvious roles as well, such as assistant managers, supervisors, schedulers, and so on.
Your first thought might be that only those within some sort of support role serve as gatekeepers, yet directors and executives can be gatekeepers as well. Gatekeepers typically dodge questions, fail to answer emails, and may refer you to a dead-end process.
Gatekeepers are generally tasked to...
     Provide limited information to jobseekers
     Point every applicant down the same path for applying
     Comply with company procedure pertaining to hiring practices 
Sometimes, jobseekers get short-fused when having to deal with gatekeepers — unfortunately forgetting that gatekeepers are people, simply doing their jobs. 
Need to get beyond a gatekeeper? Try a technique that works for those in sales, such as initiating and subsequently striking a quick relationship with those on the other end of the line, so you’re not such a stranger whose only motive is to get more information.
There are several resources to help you talk with people and subsequently build a relationship on the fly, including Christopher Gottschalk’s book, “How to Start and Make a Conversation: How to Talk to Anyone in 30 Seconds or Less.”
Another technique is to ensure to sound “human”when on the phone. Sometimes, we get nervous when making important calls, making our voices crack, our brains misfire, and our overall personality to come off as mechanical. We have our notes in hand, but we read from them practically word for word, rather than using that material for nothing more than quick reference. 
Getting beyond gatekeepers is rarely an easy task ... if  it was easy, everyone would be doing it, making gatekeepers unnecessary. 

Author Teena Rose of Resume to Referral is a certified résumé writer, interview professional, and a credentialed career master.  Contact info available at: