Finding a job is a job in itself and to succeed at finding work, one thing I would HIGHLY suggest is that you release any sense of entitlement. One very hard truth that some have not learned is that recruiters do NOT work for you. They are looking out for themselves and are not being selfish in doing so. Why? If a recruiter consistently recommends unqualified people to the hiring managers they support, they will be out of a job. Such being the case, every time they receive a resume it is evaluated through the following lens (consciously and/or subconsciously), “Based on what I see on this resume, do I think they will make me look good?” Such being the case, it is in your best interest to position yourself as someone who is the best at what they do (or, among the best) and when all possible, constantly staying current with the industry. That latter point becomes increasingly relevant, the longer you are out of work. Just fyi…
So, how do you give the aforementioned impression? Moreover, how do you give it when you have been out of work for a significant period of time? There are a number of strategies, but there are three I especially like:
- Bear gifts and hope to be appreciated.
- Become a lightning rod for controversy.
- Be a spreader of good cheer.
Okay, let me clarify things.
When I say, “bear gifts and hope to be appreciated,” I am suggesting that you create compelling content with the hope that it will be shared to your target audience. For example, let’s say that you have a background in aerospace technology. You could produce a whitepaper that focused on umm… “10 Things You Didn’t Know about Aerospace.” Once done, upload it to DropBox, Scribd, or a similar service and cite it on social media. You can also include a link to it in your email signature and/or post a synopsis on your blog. Oh! You could also make it a guest post on a blog focused on your topic. The end result (hopefully) is that people recognize your talent and share your content with other people in your industry. If people are buzzing about you, congratulations, you have achieved relevance which helps when recruiters are researching your background online.
Secondly… what? Oh! (Sorry) I was reading someone’s mind just then and they asked me how to find guest post opportunities. This is one way to do it.
intext:submit.guest.post intitle:software “cloud computing”
In the search above, I am asking Google to look for the phrase “submit guest post” in the text of a webpage, the word “engineering” in the title of a webpage and the word “mechanical” mentioned somewhere on the page as mechanical engineering is my interest. (For demo purposes.) Check out some of the search results below.
Here are a few more searches you can try:
- intitle:blog intitle:keyword “submit an article”
- “want to write for us” keyword
- “bloggers wanted” keyword
- “to submit a guest blog post” keyword
Where was I? (Let me scroll up a bit… Oh! Yeah.) The second thing I suggested was to “Become a lightning rod for controversy” and what I mean by that is that you should strive to become Oprah or, some variation thereof. Think about this, one reason why Oprah is so famous is because she surrounds herself with celebrities and newsmakers. By shining the light on others, there is a halo effect on her personally. Make sense? You could do the same thing! No, I am not suggesting that you start a career in broadcast journalism. I am saying that it would be worth it to reach out to VIPs in your space and interview them for your blog or (better yet) your new podcast series.
So, how would you proceed? One way to move forward is to reach out to the PR teams at various companies and tell them that you are a blogger (or podcaster) and would like to a) schedule a time to interview (some VIP) in your company or b) submit a series of questions to some VIP that I can quote on my blog. Make sense? If you like this strategy, you need to find press contacts at various companies. Here are a couple of google searches for you.
- “press release” “for more information contact” “company name”
- “press release” “for more information contact” “keyword or phrase”
My third strategy was to “Be a spreader of good cheer” which is a sly way of generating buzz around some content you have produced online. Let’s say that you produced a great PowerPoint presentation on building bridges in major cities. It would be great if your work was validated by other experts in the field because such validation helps to highlight you as a leader in your field. (Remember, recruiters will research your background. Give them something good to find!) It also would be great if you used your PPT as a means to attract recruiters to your work and passively pitch your talents to them. But how to accomplish both? What else? Do a search.
To passively pitch your content to recruiters, 1) find recruiters online and 2) ask them to refer technical people to your work in order to get their professional opinion. How do you find recruiters? Check out the screenshot below and take note that the results have been refined to the past year.
Once you have their name and the company name, give them a call. Make sense? Another way to find recruiters is a search along these lines…
intitle:recruiter (intitle:job OR intitle:jobs OR intitle:careers) (apply OR submit OR eoe) email.me.at ” keyword
intitle:recruiter (intitle:job OR intitle:jobs OR intitle:careers) (apply OR submit OR eoe) calll.me.at ” keyword
intitle:recruiter (intitle:job OR intitle:jobs OR intitle:careers) (apply OR submit OR eoe) contact.me.at ” keyword
Once you find them, here is an email template you might want to consider:
I found you online and thought you might be someone to help me out. I posted (title of your compelling content) recently and wanted to get some feedback from other professionals in my space. As you are a recruiter, I thought you might be able to refer someone who might have an interest in my work. If so, please do pass it on?
Title of your compelling content
(Link to your compelling content)
Thank you in advance!
Link to your blog or online profile
Other relevant contact info (ie. phone, email)
Okay, I’ve rambled on enough. What do you think of the strategies outlined herein? Leave me a comment and let me know!
Jim Stroud is an author from Glassdoor.com