I recently heard the founder of ESPN say that ESPN receives 10,000 applications. A month. For internships.
And while we all might not be trying to be the next big thing on the screen, finding a “dream job” these days, or even an “anybody-with-a-pulse-can-do-job” can feel tougher than landing a duet with Justin Bieber (c’mon, who doesn’t have that dream?)
In a job market where jobs still feel like they’re being cut faster than Wal-Mart prices, here’s how Millennials and Gen Y can get crazy-strategic with your job-searching-selves to land a pinch-me-I’m-dreaming-job.
4 Sizzling Strategies to Pimp Your Job Search
1. Start with Twitter
Twitter is networking on insta-roids.
If you don’t have an account, sign up for Twitter right now. Yes you should bust loose with a LinkedIn profile as well, but I love Twitter for it’s real-time, all-powerful access to networking.
Facebook is great for connecting with your sphere of influence. Twitter is great for connecting with those in your sphere of passion.
Twitter is like having a phone-a-friend with anyone in the world. Why wouldn’t you use it?
2. Do you have a website?
Well, you need one. Having your own website these days might be the best way to market yourself to future employers. Whether you make it a simple About.me account like what Jonathan Pearson does, which acts as quick online interactive Me-Billboard.
Or even better, start a legit site based around what you’re looking to be hired for. I love Lindsey Kirchoff’s website How to Market to Me. Lindsey started her website on how to market to Millennials because that’s what she wanted to be hired to do.
And guess what, Lindsey was just hired by marketing guru HubSpot to write about inbound marketing.
What better way to prove to employers that you can do the job, then by doing it every day in a very visible, accessible way?
Employers can’t see the story behind your 3.89 GPA.
Employers can see, taste, and feel a kick-ass website.
Don’t passively wait for a company to discover your potential. Prove it to them right now. A legit online presence amplifies all your existing personal branding, networking, job-searching efforts x 117.
3. Reach out to alumni like it’s your full-time job.
Alumni are your best shot into a job prospect.
Jump on your school’s database. Search for alumni in your area on Facebook. Read your alumni magazine. Then reach out. Make it a short, creative, three point email. Literally do a 1. 2. 3. People read lists, not life-stories.
1). Your name, degree (with a quick inside joke about your alma mater), and what you’re passionate about.
2). Compliment them on something.
Find their Twitter, website, company, anything, and compliment them on it. Not cheesy, gushy, or fake. Just one line of praise that’s specific. It shows you’ve done your homework and instantly draws them into liking you.
Ask if you could talk for ten minutes on the phone about the field they work in and how they became successful.
Key points here. I think at first you should try for a phone call, not a lunch. There is a war for people’s time these days. Don’t ask for dinner and a movie, and scare them away.
And if you snag a phone call, make sure the conversation is mainly about hearing their story of success, not yours. People love talking about themselves and how they ascended from the bottom “coffee-fetcher” to the “successfully-fine-self” they are today.
Then make sure at ten minutes you say, “It’s been ten minutes and I want to be respectful of your time.” If the phone call has gone well, (especially if you have them talking about themselves) most likely they’ll want to talk longer. Or even better maybe they’ll say, “Hey, why don’t you swing by the office someday and I can show you around.”
Music to thy ears.
After the call make sure to thank them through email, and give them a Twitter shout-out if they have an account.
“Just spoke with @_____. Wise, witty, and gracious. Please follow her for superb ______ advice.”
Thanking them on Twitter is a nice public, shout-out and creates a brand of gratitude on your end.
4. Compliment Influencers like it’s your second full-time job.
Make a list of 50-100 key influencers in the field or company you’d like to work for, and follow them on Twitter. Don’t just pick the Mark Cubans and Conan O’Briens of the world. Pick some mid-range people who have some pull, but are still accessible.
Then, do you want a fail-proof strategy on how to get them to read your tweets?
Compliment them. Give them Twitter-Love. ReTweet. Share articles they’ve written with a short line of commentary (of course agreeing with theirs). Don’t go overboard and Tweet-Stalk, but consistently become an advocate they’ll remember.
Maybe they’ll follow you back, or even better, they’ll check out that legit website you created and see that you’re the real genuine deal, perfect for an opening they’ve been itching to fill.
Job-Hunting Done Right
The days of blindly tossing resumes into black holes are over. Whether you’re preparing to search for jobs, currently stuck in the unemployed-void, or wanting to quit your current crappy job, pimp your job search with these four strategies and I promise you’ll turn that job-hunt into a job-feast.