Strategy. It’s the art of (the employment) war.
Every resume you send out is fighting like a workforce warrior, prepared with the experience of a skilled professional and ready to charge through the clash of competing CVs to triumphantly soar straight into the heart of a hiring manager's inbox.
It's key to successfully waging your candidacy against the bots and the competition, and a strategic job seeker knows that sometimes….one must get crafty.
Social media isn’t just for the selfie… it’s also a powerful tool in your job search. As many as 70% of jobs aren’t even advertised, but that doesn't mean someone in your network isn't an ally to your cause.
So get ready, get set, and get socially tactical with these tips:
Get your Facebook recon on
If one is getting crafty, one must remember that it isn’t only what you know, but also who you know. So, scroll through that friend's list; you never know what old co-workers, colleagues and others you're connected to who may know of (or work for) a company hiring. Allies...
Many organizations pay a referral bonus to any employees who can introduce a new member of staff, as it’s a preferred hiring process that can save on expensive advertising and agency fees. So, make sure your Facebook friends (and real life friends too) know you’re looking for a new position. If you have the right skill set and experience, a quick status update could also help raise awareness and aid you in getting the gig.
Conquer the Twitterverse
A lot can be said in under 140 characters or less. Follow companies you’d like to work for; Twitter is a friendly place where you can make direct contact. And remember, that’s direct contact, not creepy contact. Follow the brands, employees and leaders in the industry that you want to break into. Retweet, comment and share their stuff—but only if you have something relevant to add to their content. Your goal should be to position yourself as someone whose opinion can add value to the discussion. After you’ve started to build your online personal brand, and if you’re feeling bold, tweet the managing director or recruitment manager of an organization and ask them directly if they have any suitable vacancies (don't forget to include a link to your LinkedIn profile).
Also: hashtags! Hashtags are more than just creative witticisms following the OG pound sign. Research popular recruiting and hiring hashtags for your industry, type them into your search bar and watch the possibilities pop up right before your eyes. Use these digital breadcrumbs as beacons of bait and start sharing relevant content around them. Boom. Twittersphere conquered.
Zero in on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the number one social networking platform for professionals, and they do use it—so you should too. Use the “seeking new opportunities” headline and optimize your profile with a hard hitting statement that describes who you are and what you do—then elevate the rest of the content with keywords related to the job field you’re interested in.
And ICYMI… (in case you missed it), we’re living in a world of acronyms, so also using the headline “ISO” (in search of) followed by the position you’re after is also an attractive attention getter.
You can also Sherlock Holmes the people at the companies you’re interested in and connect. You must, however, traverse this track carefully. Don’t go into full-blown sales stalker, but if you’re being proactive in your search, you need to connect with people at places you want to be. Do your research in what role they play at the company, express interest in what they do or a goal they’ve recently achieved and work in how you could add further value to their organization or projects. You could even perhaps request a coffee or a meeting or ask if you can send your resume if an opening comes up. (A good tactician plots for any possible outcome.)
If you did see a job posting via LinkedIn, invite the hiring manager to connect, and once they accept you as a connection, start a conversation. Mention that you’ve read something interesting about company x, mention a posting, say you applied and ask if they are the person you should be speaking to.
But only if you’re qualified!
The proactive approach is the progressive Job Seeker's best bet to starting a new position. But remember Churchill’s famous words: “No matter how beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.” (And your interview feedback.)