We seem to get questions like this fairly regularly:

How to reach people from R&D industry departments?

I'm currently looking for a job in pharma-biotech industry. What is the normal path to contact them? I've noticed people is normally not listed in their company webpages.

The theme is usually the same: people want to apply at Company X and are trying to find contact details for department managers or HR to send in a resume, bypass an application process, find ways for their application to stand out (as if it's a good thing) and so on. I expect we'll have a question on where to send a Singing Telegram or carrier pigeon before long.

Answers on these questions always tend to boil down to the same thing: apply for open positions by following the company's hiring process, don't go through back-channels (unless you have a close contact in the company who can vouch for you), send blind resume submissions through established channels or to HR, ...

It seems like it would be useful to have a general reference question with comprehensive answers so these kinds of questions can be closed as duplicates and answers combined in one location. Your thoughts?

Related Meta: Do "reference questions" make sense?

  • Your embedded title question contains two different questions with different answers. Are you worried about the more specific "How do I apply for a position with a company at which I have no point of contact?" anything more general I think is way too big for one question, "reference" or not.
    – user42272
    Jan 25, 2016 at 19:07

2 Answers 2


Those questions are too broad to be of use to many people. Job searches vary greatly depending on your field of expertise, and how to apply depends on the company, region, and industry.

So what you are trying to do is create a question that will help answer everyone's question well, but what results is a Question/Answers that are marginally useful in many situations, but completely useless and off base in others. Then a good portion of the community wants to rubber stamp closing as duplicate any question that might have the slightest bit of overlap. This results in the outliers not getting answers at all and being turned off by the whole process.

The better option is to wait until the questions come in that are not duplicates, then edit them to be more useful to a wider audience as necessary and appropriate.

  • +1, in particular, I think your last sentence is a much better proposal than "try to think of all the non-duplicate situations and write answers to them in one mega-post"
    – user42272
    Jan 25, 2016 at 19:04
  • Hmm good point. It just feels like these questions come up very often and a good 60-80% of them I can answer perfectly by saying "Don't do what you're suggesting (X), do this instead: [examples given in question]." I guess I don't mind the easy reputation but it feels like busywork. If I understand you correctly, you'd propose broadening the questions to "Should I do X?" to which the answer is "No, because of A, B and C." and then have the advice of what you should do be an optional extra?
    – Lilienthal Mod
    Jan 25, 2016 at 20:07
  • No Should I do X is not a good way to broaden questions. Instead just remove the hyper local details and change it to How can I effectively accomplish goal X? Jan 26, 2016 at 15:48
  • Agreed. Trying to whittle down the essence of anything as dynamic as The Workplace into a handful of generic questions seems misguided to me. I also think that anything that compels/encourges people to mark even more questions than we already have as duplicates is misguided. Jan 27, 2016 at 13:47

No thank you.

Generic questions don't work well on this site. After all, we're not Wikipedia. ;)

So just sit back, relax, let these questions come in and, if necessary, we'll close them as duplicates.

Enjoy your weekend!

  • Agreed. But if you really think you could come up with a generic answer, do so. Then close upcoming questions as duplicates with a pointer back to the generically-answered original. Jan 22, 2016 at 23:33

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