Saturday, April 17, 2010

10 Guerrilla Job Search Tactics That Work

by Nicole Crimaldi

In my opinion, there are two things job seekers do wrong: they are too general and they are too boring.

I frequently write about the #1 problem of entry-level candidates: lack of focus. If you want to get hired today, you have to be a perfect fit. It’s OK to adjust your marketing materials (resume/CV) to show that.

But why do I feel most candidates are boring? Because they do what everyone else is doing.

The vast majority of job seekers conduct their job search solely online. Just like everyone else.

As I said in a post last week, 80% of job seekers are applying to 20% of open jobs. Career experts claim that only 20% of open positions are posted online. So if you want to get a job faster, become part of the 20% that is seeking 80% of the jobs (which aren’t posted online).

Step 1 is to take your job search offline!

But how?!

Get Guerilla

What does “guerrilla” mean in terms of a job search? It means get creative and do things differently. Engage your audience and surprise them. Here are ten guerrilla marketing tactics you can use in your job search.

1. Pick up the phone. Isn’t it lame that I have to even include this in a list which is meant to consist of creative and unique networking tactics? The truth is, I bet only 1% of people actually pick up the phone to introduce themselves, ask for a coffee meeting or start a conversation. You aren’t cold calling for an interview or a job, you are simply starting a conversation. Don’t over think it!

If you decide to pick up the phone, let the person know who referred you to them or how you know them. Did you meet at a networking event? Did you get his card at the bar? Did you look her up in your sorority alumna directory?

Chances are they won’t answer or be interested in talking to you the first time you call. Follow up again via email and make one last attempt by emailing them a week or two later referring to your first attempts. Don’t worry, you can do this without sounding desperate.

2. Stop job hunting and start company hunting. The beauty of a guerrilla style job search is that your efforts will be very targeted. You’ve researched industries, companies and even people. You know what you want and who you want to talk to. This is not a reactive job search where you apply to 50 jobs online and sit by your phone and wait. Find companies you like, then look into their competitors and their vendors. Target companies, not jobs.

3. Send a coffee mug. I first heard about this idea on an awesome podcast series called “Secrets of the Job Hunt” and have since run into this idea many times. Sending a coffee mug helped former job seeker Janet FritzHuspen land a job within two weeks.

  • If you find out about an open position you’d like to apply for, send a coffee mug along with your resume and cover letter in a box via FedEx/UPS ground so you can track the package.
  • In your letter, state that you’d like to set up a time to discuss how you can contribute and add value to ABC Company as their (title of position you are inquiring about).
  • When the package arrives, give the person a call about 20 minutes later and say “you just got my package” and go from there.

This tactic will not work every time, but word on the street is that it works almost every time. This tactic is better suited for more creative industries and positions rather than for a legal or banking positions.

4. Send an article. In this tactic you are simply sending interesting articles about the company, industry, or competition. You can put a sticky note on the printed article that says, “I thought you might be interested in this.” Also, make sure to include a note that lets the hiring manager know you like their company, what you are interested in and how you could contribute to their firm. Set up free Google alerts to stay on top of the newly published articles of interest.

5. Get in touch with ex-employers. Most people only look at the future when conducting a job search. Therefore, you should look behind you. Hopefully you left your previous positions on good terms and can send a short email saying hello and letting them know you are on the market. That’s it. All you have to do is let them know you are available. They have tons of clients and contacts, and perhaps they even need you back.

Read Tips 6-10

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