The internet’s ability to lull people into a false sense of security causes them to report their personal details on public forums. You can use this tendency to over-share… to find employment.
The current job market is …terrible. Any advertised job you apply for is going to be riddled with competition. Unless you’ve been in the industry for years, have won some kind of award, or have a third arm or some other dramatically memorable feature, it’s going to be difficult to stand out.
That is, unless you have an “in” (a contact who is aware of your talents and your job situation). The more “in’s” you have, the better. A lot of jobs won’t be advertised, because they’ll be given to people with “in’s.”
So how to you create your in?
Step 1: Find Companies Where You Want to Work
Start following these companies on every social media account they have. Often, their websites will name their executives and employees. These people will most likely also have social media profiles — so follow them, too.
Follow them on Twitter. Join their LinkedIn Groups. Attend the Twitter chats they attend. Follow their blogs – and blogs of those they follow. In short: be where they are.
Step 2: Passively Engage with Your New Contacts
Retweet, like, share, etc. relevant industry material, current events or general information. This part is important: Don’t be creepy! Do not comment on pictures of their vacation (where they’re wearing bathing suits) or on things their mom may have posted on their wall. (If you have difficulty with this…maybe just skip Facebook altogether.)
Through these accounts you’re using your online presence to let the employers get to know you. You’re also getting to know them. They’re going to tell you things like:
- What committees they are on
- What charity/networking events they attend
- What events their company is hosting, sponsoring or just participating
Step 3: Meet Them in Person
Where your contacts are: go! And don’t just show up… network and take pictures of yourself there. Use your social networks to tell them what an awesome time you had and post pics of you at the event on your networks. Better yet, blog about the event, how much you learned, etc.!
Companies – and your new contacts – will eat this attention up!
Once you’ve spent some time networking, find a subtle way to tell the contact you’re currently looking for work. This at least puts you on their radar—and they are then more likely to let you know if something comes available. Also, when you apply for an advertised job, let the people you’ve been in contact with know you’ve applied.
If you were successful in making contacts, and they like you, they may keep you abreast of the status of your job search competition. They might also favor you over other candidates, because you are now a familiar candidate.
You created your own “in” by successfully stalking these companies using social networking tools.
Note: Stalking is only considered “successful” in this scenario if no police were called and court proceedings were not filed. If this happened you did something wrong.
About the Author: Scott Keenan is a twenty something with a uniquely cynical view on everything. Scott specializes in Human Resources and Marketing, and he “shares the awesome with you as often as he can.” Check out Scott’s blog, and connect with him on Twitter!