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Top 10 Reasons the Occupy Wall Street Protestors Can’t Find a Job: # 7 You Network Like a Girl!

I was going to say like a “Canadian”.    Canadians being so polite and all, but I didn’t because a slap shot to the groin hurts – way worse – than a slap in the face or a kick in the ribs!   Day6

Just stop being so Dam Nice.  It’s tuff out there and you don’t want to become a statistic!

Most people I know with a job rave about networking as the’ most effective way to find a job.  You notice I emphasized ‘with a job’.  By-the-way, a lot of people are experts when they a job.  Given they have nothing at stake and no original ideas – but feel compelled to give advice – they promote the need to network. 

Everybody says so… 

Would it surprise you to learn there’s not one shred of clinical evidence to support it?  That there have never ever been any studies that support it?  Lots of antidotal evidence of course.  But not hard evidence. No major studies.  It’s just what everybody says when they don’t know what other advice to give.  And it’s dead wrong. 

 

Can you afford to be average?

Have you got 10 months’ salary in the bank?  If the ‘average person’ finds a job networking… and  the average job search in America now takes 39 weeks… well, you get the picture.  You might want to do better than average.

The biggest challenge with traditional networking is its’ fundamental reliance on the kindness of strangers.   Job hunters are taught that to be successful they must have ‘faith’ they’ll find a job through a friend of a friend of a friend.   This is largely a myth.

Even if this strategy yielded great results in the past it’s not enough today. Average is too long to wait to put food on the table and a roof over your family’s head.  The recession brought more competition for fewer leads.  What do you do when 20% of the market is actively looking at the same time you are?  You can wear out your welcome mighty fast.  Pretty soon people stop returning your calls or taking them at all – because they can’t help and feel horrible. So they avoid you all together.   Most people run out of people to talk to in a week.  It’s depressing

Catch-22: Networking's Darak side

Traditional networking – as taught in most career books and by most coaches and student counselors, has three inherent flaws:

1. You need to have a network at hand when you find yourself out of work (by the way—being out of work is not the best time to start building one). 

2. It requires you to be at least a little outgoing because you need to talk to strangers.

3. There’s no way to guarantee the jobs people refer will be ones you’ll excel at, much less be interested in.

Is there a better way?  Day 9

Yup.  You bet.  And it’s FREE!

We’ve been promoting a very simple concept for the last 10 years… called ‘extreme networking’.  The concept is also known by these terms: ‘guerrilla networking’ and ‘networking with the newly departed’.  It’s what headhunters do.  The concept is simple. Let me explain the logic.

People who are employed at the companies which you want to work either aren’t in a position to help you OR helping you is against their self interest – in either case you’re dead.    However, people who used to work at those companies [past tense] have no such and rarely have any compunction speaking freely about a former employer’s strengths and weaknesses.  

 

How to get the Truth 

That’s how you find out about an employer’s issues – the ones you might be able to solve – that you need to put in your cover letter and resume.  That’s how you find out who ‘owns’ the problem – who’s neck is on the line if it’s not solved.     

Remember, employers hire people to help them solve problems.  Your task is to find the problems they have which you can solve.   Current employees of those companies are not going to talk to you – former employees will.  And they’re easy to find.  Talking to former employees – the ‘newly departed’ – helps you understand what accomplishments you should include in your cover letter and resume so you hit them over the head.  

That’s the real “hidden job market”.  That’s the one you need to penetrate.

Two strategies to crack the hidden job market

We’re all about focus at Guerrilla Job Search International.  And we want you to focus all your time and effort on the companies you’ve identified as being the Tier 1 buyers of your product – You.  Anything else is a waste of your time, energy and money.  Nothing beats a direct approach for speed and accuracy.  Target your efforts at the companies where you know you can help solve a problem. 

Because of the current recession employers have different hiring expectations. The direct approach has replaced networking as the best way to break into the hidden job market.

Let’s be clear from the start.  The hidden job-market isn’t really hidden.  It’s just not in plain sight.  It’s referred to as the hidden job-market because of the way jobs are created and filled.  Most jobs are created in a company in one of three ways. 

  1. The company is growing;
  2. Someone quits, leaving a vacancy; orStandby
  3. Someone is being replaced and the employer doesn’t want the employees to know about it.

When the company is growing, the owner, president, or someone else may know they need to hire but haven’t initiated the process.  They may not have had the time.  They may not quite have the budget.  They may not want to go through the hassle of advertising and interviewing.  So while the need is real, the job itself remains hidden inside the hiring manager’s head. 

When someone quits, managers will first decide if they can eliminate the job, or combine it with another position.   Needing a new person, they will look inside their organization to see whom they can promote into the role.  If they can’t find anyone they’ll likely ask their co-workers for referrals.  If that doesn’t work, depending on the size of the company they may opt to run an ad through HR, or hire a head-hunter.  

Companies will contact a head-hunter when secrecy is required because “loose-lips-sink-ships” and the recruiter can conduct a search without anyone ever knowing.

In all of these cases, the job remains hidden to the outside world for weeks if not months.  Hence the term hidden job-market. 

The Success Strategy

The only way for you to access the hidden job-market successfully is to reach out to the hiring managers directly before they opt to go the advertising or HR route OR ask their buddies for referrals.  The hidden job-market is your private laboratory to test out the best methods for finding your dream job.  Now let’s look at two of the Top 10 Strategies Successful Job Hunters use to access the hidden job market.

 

Phase I

Job Search Strategy # 1 – Targeted Research 

One quick way to discover new opportunities is by doing structured search engine queries. And it’s fairly easy to do.   Here’s how to do targeted research, step by step:

Step #1

Develop a target list of companies you want to work for.  That list of companies is your baseline query for your search.   Now, there are two easy ways to get the list. 

Google helps you Network with the Newly Departed

Below is an example using Google.com in which you want to work in advertising in New York City.

1. When you do targeted research, generally you concentrate on an industry or a geographic preference (in this case, New York City).  Substitute your city for your search. 

2. You need to find the names of all the advertising companies in New York.  There are easy ways to do this using the Net.  Go to Google. www.google.com and type the following words in the “advanced” option box in Google.  The search string shown below instructs Google to search for a directory of advertising firms in New York or a conference on advertising held in New York.  We want this list to garner leads for companies.

Advanced Search in Google

Your text needs to be filled in like that in the picture above.

Google Search REsults

My search returned many hits including one for AD:TECH  “The Event for Interactive Marketing”.  This is a conference held in New York for the Advertising industry.  There were also hits for directories of advertising companies in New York, complete with web site addresses, phone numbers, and profiles of the owners.

LinkedIn helps you Network with the Newly Departed

With LinkedIN the same process looks like this:

Targeted Research with LnkedIn

 

Step #2 Find People Who Can Hire You

Once you have a target list of companies to work with, you need to find out who the people are in those companies that can actually hire you.  A good headhunter would pick up the telephone. You might not be so inclined, so here’s another way to accomplish your objective.

Targeted Research - People who can hire you with LnkedIn

Go to each company’s web site OR go through the company’s corporate profile in LinkedIn and gather the names of the people who can say yes.  Those people are the executives not the human resource people – they can only say NO! unless you’re a human resources professional. 

If you’re lucky, every web site will identify their senior executives, including names, titles, phone numbers, career summaries and sometimes email and photos!  Web information should be up-to-the-minute accurate, but I would call the receptionist and confirm it.   Same for using LinkedIn.  It’s faster but you really should phone and confirm.

For this example I’m looking for a sales position but it could just as easily be admin, operations, legal, accounting, shipping, etc.    But I’m looking for a sales job so therefore I’ll seek to locate or research the VP of Sales, VP Sales & Marketing, VP Marketing or General Manager. You would focus your research on the functional areas of interest for your search.

If you’re experiencing difficulty finding names on the site, then go back to Google’s advanced search box and type in the company name in the first box and (Vice President Sales Marketing Director)in the third box.  By-the-way, you don’t need to place the words in brackets and don’t put in any commas or punctuation.   LinkedIn you should see them immediately if you have more than 500 connections.  If you don’t have more than500 connections on LinkedIn get them or get used to using Google.

Targeted research Ogilvie & Mather

This search string will bring you:

  • All the people who are, or have ever been, VPs OR President OR Directors of Sales and/or Marketing for the company you choose.  {In this case we chose Ogilvie & Mather  }
  • The resumes of a whole pile of people from that company whom you may be able to phone to coax information from them.

Once you have the name of the individual who is one rung up the ladder from the job you want – or in a recession – at the executive level – you need to process their name through Google again.  This time you put their first and last name in the first box and the company name in the third box.

This will produce a list of press releases, and news articles in which they are mentioned, as well as conferences they’ve attended.  Read an article or two and clip something memorable to use in your NarrowCast letter.  If you can, go on LinkedIn and see what other people have provide testimonials and what they have to say.

When you send them them your information pack {cover leter and guerrilla resume} you’ll be able to say.  “I read your article in… about… which prompted me to write.”  Very powerful but what comes next is even more so..

Stop – that’s Phase 1

Phase 2 requires you to Network with the Newly Departed

Okay so you’ve found people who worked at your target companies before — now you need to  call them on the telephone, and get information about:

  • The person you are targeting {the Director or VP who runs the department you want to work in NOT the HR person NOR your potential boss – get this wrong and you’ve wasted your time!!!!!!]
  • The department the person runs
  • The company

Then what do you do?

Pick up the phone and say,

“Hi, my name is David Perry and I just read your résumé and I want to ask you a couple of questions.”

What is the person on the other end of the phone thinking?

“Ooh, it’s a recruiter with a job for me.” Don’t set them straight right away. The whole script is in the book.

 You say,

“Here’s why I’m calling because what I want to know, and I know you used to work there, I just want to ask you a couple of quick questions.”

You start to build your knowledge about what the issues are with that company and figure out what you can solve. After you’ve done that with two or three people inside each company you have a very clear understanding of what their issues are so when you do your Guerilla Résumé, or when you do your Guerilla Cover Letter I want you to include only the stuff that you know is going to hit that person in the head.

Either you will get a referral with your second attempt, or the person may decide to answer your questions after all. Someone who had a good experience at the company will answer your questions without hesitation. If it was a bad experience, the person may tell you as well, but it’s unlikely. If you don’t get anywhere, move on to the next person on your list.

Here are some of the 40+ questions you should ask to get a complete – the rest are detailed in Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters 3.0,  as is the complete ‘script’ you should follow. 

About the Potential Boss

1. Did you work directly for [insert name of potential boss]?

—If the people you question did not work directly for the person, they may not be able to answer the questions 100 percent accurately, but their feedback may still be of value.

2. How long?

—Longer is better.

3. What is [insert name] like?

—What they mention first will be a dominant characteristic. You may need to push a bit to get the response.

4. What kind of person is [insert name]?

5. What kind of manager is he?

6. What does this manager look for in an employee?

—How does your experience compare to that of the people they normally hire?

7. How is [insert name] positioned in the company?

—This is a crucial question to confirm that you are targeting the right person.

8. Is [insert name] on the way up or down?

9. Does he have the ear of the president or owner?

—You need to know whether this person has the capability to hire you and can get the president to sign off.

Your All-Important Last Question

Fotolia_21373035_XS
“If I decide to talk with them, can I say I was speaking with you?”

(1) If your questions with the former employee result in positive answers, that employee’s name may help you later in securing a meeting with the hiring manager;
(2) the former employee may just phone his old boss and tell him about all the background due diligence you’re doing on the company.  That’s a great thing.

Expect results! With a few minor variations, this is exactly how headhunters network to find candidates.

Ask whatever you think is important for you to know before contacting the next person. You will be amazed by how much you will learn. Further you may be stunned by what people will disclose about former employers—if you just take the initiative to ask.

The competitive intelligence you gather is valuable. Now you can assess how your accomplishments fit with the employer’s needs. After doing three to four of these interviews, you’ll have the inside track. You will be able to assess which of your accomplishments might be of most interest to the employer.

When you approach the company, you will know far more than any other job-hunter before you’ve even had your first interview. You might be able to decide if it’s even worth working there. How powerful is that?

That’s how you network in today’s economy. 

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Top 10 Reasons the Occupy Wall Street Protestors Can't Find a Job

# 10 – You're Gulliable

# 9 – You're Invissible


# 8 – You’re Irrelevant

 

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