Two More Guerrilla Job Search Success Stories
Most job seekers you talk to are struggling right now. You can do what they’re doing. But you’ll probably struggle, too.
Or, for different results, you can try something different.
The two “guerrilla” job hunters in this article did. And they’re working now.
What can you learn from their stories?
Approach #1: Do Lots of Little Things Right
Remy Piazza, from Toronto, Ontario, accepted a job offer in November 2009. It was his fifth offer in five months of methodical searching. If you’d like to average a job offer every 30 days and pick the one you like best, consider doing what he did.
1. Make a Shopping List
Many folks enter the employment market with no clear idea of the job or employer they seek. This leads to confusion and tail-chasing, wasted effort.
Not so with Piazza.
“I made a list of 50 employers, researched them, got it down to under 20, and then picked five that I really wanted to work for,” he says. By beginning with clarity, Piazza focused his time and effort on appealing to a shortlist of decision makers who could hire him.
2. Tell the World
Piazza then sent an email chain letter to people in his network, asking for help.
In his email, Piazza listed his target employers and asked readers for an introduction to anyone they knew who worked there, sold to them, or bought from them. (Key: It’s not just people who work at an employer who can help, but also that employer’s vendors and clients.)
Finally, he asked recipients to forward the email to 10 other people — this is the “chain letter” part. If 10 people forward it to 10 people, an email can reach 10,000 readers in just three cycles.
“I got a lot of new contacts doing this, including meetings with CEOs, VPs, and other executives,” says Piazza.
Why can this work? While many people use email to network and unearth job leads, their message is often a tiresome of variation of this: “Do you know anyone who’s hiring?” (Answer: Yes, McDonalds needs fry cooks.)
Don’t expect anyone to think for you. Ever. But by demonstrating that you can think — of a list of 10-20 target employers, for example — people will respect you and be more likely to help.
Bonus: In your message, include the name of the school(s) you’ve attended, because you never know who might read it — fellow alumni are more likely to help you than strangers.
Final advice: Never send an email chain letter if you’re currently employed. If it finds its way to your boss, you won’t be employed for long.
3. Research and Reach Out
After winnowing his list of target employers down to five, Piazza learned all he could about them, tapping Linkedin and other resources for information. “I spent about 8 to 24 hours of research on each employer on my shortlist,” he says.
Armed with a list of facts regarding an employer’s problems, needs, and possible solutions, Piazza started warm-calling on top executives, to ask for a meeting.
What’s a warm call? If someone calls and quickly proves they know a great deal about you and your needs, you likely won’t treat them like a cold-calling telemarketer. Instead, you’re more likely to give them a few minutes of time, agree to a meeting, or refer them to someone else.
This is what Piazza found.
“The opening of my phone calls always focused on them. I proved that I understood what they were going through and said I’d like to come in and discuss what was in it for them. By adding value this way, I got amazing results compared to conventional methods” of asking for job interviews, he says.
Approach #2: Do One Big Thing Right
Travis Z, from suburban St. Paul, Minn., was hired by a Fortune 1000 firm in June 2009 after taking a blunt approach: He simply refused to be turned down for the job.
“I applied online for a position I thought I was a perfect match for. But I got a generic response by email that said, ‘There are other candidates whose qualifications more closely match the position and we will be moving forward with them …'” says Travis.
Undeterred, he fired back a 267-word rebuttal by email. Here’s part of what he wrote:
Dear ABC Corp. hiring managers —
Thank you for considering my resume and application. I really hope my resume was reviewed by the hiring manager for that department and not kicked out by an automatic resume reader.
I feel that my qualification meet if not exceed those for this position. You are more than welcome to review my LinkedIn profile, http://linkedin.com/in/123abc, to see what my colleagues and customers have said about me.
“I pretty much got an immediate interview. There were two face-to-face interviews and two phone interviews. The entire process was 6 weeks,” he says.
Is it conventional to research a list of 50 target employers, boil it down to five, and then warm-call for interviews? No.
Is it conventional to reject a rejection email and re-apply for a job? No.
But, as these two job seekers learned, the unconventional approach can pay off in a big way, while others struggle to find work in this economy.
Resource: Unconventional Guerrilla Resumes get job offers in 7-12 weeks, on average. For more information, see Kevin Donlin’s Guerilla Resumes.