If you’re like most job hunters, you probably spend most of your time doing two things: reading the Sunday help-wanted ads and uploading your resume on the Internet.
And you’re probably wondering why it takes so long to get hired in this job market.
Why not try something different?
I’m always urging job seekers to go against the grain, and zig when others zag. So here are 3 ways you can do just that, with “guerrilla job search tactics” that almost nobody else is using.
1) Look To Past Employers For Job Leads
Eric H., a design engineer from Ohio, came to me with a sad-looking resume. He had been sending it out for 6 months with no luck.
Before working with him to write a new resume, I suggested he contact prior employers to ask for letters of recommendation, since those are valuable documents to bring to a job interview.
Four days later, he sent me a shocking email…
“Thanks to you making me call old employers for recommendations, one of them just offered me a great job!”
It turns out that a previous employer was looking for someone with Eric’s skills. And since Eric had done good work before and would have no trouble fitting into the corporate culture, he was immediately offered the new position.
Lesson: Tell EVERYONE you know about your job search — even past employers. If you parted on good terms, your old bosses can be a rich source of job leads. They may even hire you back.
2) Hit Them From All Directions
One client, Cindy S. from Minnesota, just got hired at a huge Fortune 500 corporation. She persisted creatively in her search after others would have given up.
You can, too.
“I had applied to this company many times through a big Internet job site, but got no response,” said Cindy.
“Late one night, I saw a job posted on the company’s own Web site that was perfect. I applied online and the next day got a call from them! I don’t think I had the experience for the job I applied for, but the recruiter was very nice in helping me find a position that would be a good fit.
“Coincidentally, I got a temp job at the same company, as an administrative assistant for a VP in the HR department. I wrote a thank-you letter to the recruiter and mentioned I was working on the 9th floor for 2 weeks, and that maybe we should meet. It turned out she worked on the same floor!
“Because I was already working there, I was able to interview with 3 different people on my lunch hours. And I got hired full-time!”
Lesson: When using the Internet, apply directly to your target company through their Web site. Send a thank-you letter to every person you speak with. Then, make your own luck by working hard to get an interview with decision makers. Even a temp job can lead to a permanent one, as it did in this case, if you make smart use of your contacts and network within that firm.
3) Speed Thrills
You may think it’s nearly impossible to stand out at one of those “cattle call” job fairs typically held at hotels. But you can make a great first impression — and get hired — if you take the initiative.
That’s what Patrick C. from Texas did.
“I interviewed with an insurance firm and I thought they liked me. As I was leaving the interview, I thought, ‘I want this job. I’m going to try something different,’” says Patrick.
“So I went to the front desk and asked to use their word processor. The hotel secretary let me type up a thank-you letter that re-emphasized all the reasons I thought I was a perfect fit for the job. Then, I paid a bellhop $5.00 to take it up to Mark Jones in suite #101 – he was the guy I interviewed with.”
“I got the job. When the hiring manager called me the next day, he remembered me from the ‘instant thank-you letter’ I had sent.”
Lesson: Every employer wants go-getters on the payroll. If you follow up quickly and creatively after every interview, you’ll prove that you have what it takes, no matter what the job.
Now, go out and make your own luck!