Ah, job hunting like a guerrilla. Sounds fun! Wait, what? Have you heard of guerrilla marketing? In a nutshell, it’s an unconventional and low cost advertising method. You can apply the same guerrilla style to your job search by doing a bit to stand out, but not so much that you’ll be branded a lunatic and quite possibly, unemployable. That’s not the intended outcome, nor is it likely to be when you get savvy with whatever you use to connect to the virtual world.
5 Creative Ways to Get Noticed by Hiring Managers
… Because let’s face it, if you can get their attention before they know they need you, you’ll have eliminated the competition.
Go get ‘em with these guerrilla job hunting adventures…
1: Someone else’s bad news is your good news
Whoever you interact with, stay tuned for keywords like fired, hired, retired, or anything that gives you the slightest hint that a potential employer could have an opening.
If someone’s having a rant about being let go, find out if the company really did downsize, or if that person messed up big time and got sacked. If the firm downsized, there’s no job openings. If the person messed up, then his / her position might just be about to be advertised on the job market. Call the company and inquire.
2: Take your networking to the next level with information interviews
That word networking is overrated. What’s often neglected when the broad spectrum of networking is done is the personal interaction. Go to events, seminars, and follow up after. When the gig’s up, don’t go until you’ve spoken to at least a few people, especially the speakers at the events because those are the ones with the connections. Besides, they expect people to talk to them. Most appreciate it too.
If you’ve yet to conduct an information interview, you’ll find it like Marmite. Either you’ll love it or absolutely detest it. It’s a casual conversation with someone in your industry, so you do need to make the contact first. That’s what your networking is for. To seek people out who could help you and then you take that further by moving it to a more personal connection with a one-on-one interview. The difference being, you’re the interviewer. Not the interviewee.
You ask the questions, find out more about your industry, and basically talk shop. In the process, you get a glimpse into the company the person you’re speaking with works at. They clue you up on the company culture, any targets that’s expected, maybe even salary expectations, the working conditions, holidays and the inside scoop on the higher ups within the company. The people you need to impress for a job. They’ll tell you what they’re like and give you the advice you need to impress them. Provided they like you that is.
The purpose of the information interview is for you to interview insiders and get the low down. But, don’t neglect the power of the contact. It’s a new friend and professional contact you’ll be speaking with. When you get to that stage, never walk away without asking if they know of anyone they think you should be speaking to. It’s far more powerful to introduce yourself as a referral of someone they know, rather than a direct approach.
The best part of that approach is you’re going to grow your personal network of professional contacts pretty fast.
3: Scout the companies you’d like to work for
If you really want to work for a particular firm and can’t get your foot in the front door, find another way. That other way is through their associates. A little digging around the firms’ online profiles, and the contacts of those who work there, you’ll likely find there’s a few connected companies, most likely suppliers or contractors.
If you can get your foot in the door with a trusted business of the company you’d like to be hired by, that’s going to stand out on your resume when you re-submit it at a later date.
As selfish as it sounds, it might just pay off to use connected businesses and settle for less for a bit, just to get yourself noticed because the pawn (company you use to get noticed) will know someone and likely be able to put in a good word for you. Not as a supervisor or up-line, but as a friend of a friend sort of thing.
4: Get busy
You’ll have heard the saying that it’s easier to get work when you’re in work. Sorry, but that part is true so you may as well deal with it if you’re out of work.
There’s no point moseying around in sorrow if your job hunts drying up. Instead, take off. Go backpacking somewhere. Give yourself an excuse for the gap in your resume. The longer you’re out of work, the harder it’ll become to get back into the game.
Go into self-discovery mode and take an adventure. It’s one way to protect your CV from going stale, and it’ll give you plenty of tales to talk about in the future.
If you’re not the adventurous type, there’s plenty of charities would gladly give you something to do – for a cause and not for pay. Experience counts. It doesn’t really matter where you get that experience.
5: Brush up on your REAL social skills
What are not meant by that are social media skills. You’ll have plenty of that, but you may be lacking in the real social skills department. Like getting out and talking to real people without a screen between you both.
Those who have grew up with technology all around them, all or some of their lives (often referred to as Generation X, Y or Z) have become so accustomed to conversing online, that they haven’t a clue about observing body language and subtle hints of sarcasm. It makes conversations awkward.
If there’s one thing Millennials lack when speaking with people from another generation, it’s the social interaction skills. Informal chats are near impossible due to nerves. It is one thing to converse over email and instant chat online, but it’s a different ball game when you’re face-to-face. That’s where to get experience that matters. Holding genuine conversations with anyone and everyone you can. Brush up on your real social skills - don’t do everything in a virtual world.
Bonus tip: Emails
Despite what you may have heard, email is still very much alive in the business world. In fact, many in HR would rather have CVs they can read on a computer rather than the paper version. After all, they do scour CV databases anyway. Naturally though, send both, but when you’re approaching potential employers or introducing yourself to someone you feel could help your job search, there’s nothing wrong with opening the conversation with a courteous email. Just be sure that you use business prose and don’t use non-existent words, like “Howdy m8”.
Always keep your conversations professional and sign off with your full name – no nicknames.