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December 16, 2017

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Zero to Hired in 30 Days with Guerrilla Networking

If you’re in the job market today, you know that the shortest route to employment is often … non-existent.

You email your resume in response to a job posting. Then wait. Email to follow up. Wait. Get a phone interview. Wait to hear back from the employer. Etc.

What a long, strange trip it can be -- if you do what everyone else is doing.

But what if you blaze your own trail and make your own rules?

That’s what “guerrillas” do to find a job.

To illustrate, I talked to Curt Bolan, a career and employment consultant from Canada-Saskatchewan Career and Employment Services.

Bolan shared the story of one man who found a great job about 30 days after taking an unconventional, “guerrilla” approach.

This Guerrilla Job Hunter, whom we’ll call Mark to protect his identity, did something completely unexpected, using LinkedIn …

What did Mark do to find a job that was so interesting?

Bolan:Well, Mark is an engineer and foreign trained. He speaks four languages and he has a Master’s in mechanical engineering. However, with large organizations, Mark could not get his foot in the door and he was really growing frustrated.

We talked about using LinkedIn. We created his profile and started looking for employers where he had already applied through HR and had received no response.

Mark had targeted one of Saskatchewan’s large health employers. We found the profile of the Director of Operations on LinkedIn and we realized that Mark and this person both spoke Russian. Mark was able to get the fellow’s e-mail address.

He emailed the Director of Operations and, to his amazement, the director called back and invited him to an interview. Mark brought his laptop with some of his design projects and sat with the director, who interviewed him for about an hour.

In the interview, the director asked Mark for his resume and it was a hard copy. He had the resume converted to a PDF file as the spoke. The director then sent an e-mail with Mark’s resume to 6 of his managers.

What did that message say?

Bolan: Here’s the email:

“Hi, guys. I interviewed Mark this afternoon and was very impressed. I would like to see us give him a chance where we can. Please consider him for any available opening. He is willing to work part-time or on a contract basis.

“I think he would be happy if you could also forward his resume to anyone outside our organization who might be looking for someone with his skill set. He is very eager, well educated, and ready to work. I’d like to see us help him out.”

Bolan: Long story short -- within one month, Mark was hired by one of those managers who got his resume.

How long did Mark look for a job unsuccessfully with conventional methods?

Bolan: It was probably hit-and-miss for about four months. During that time, the job offers he got were not in his field and they were at the wrong pay level.

Would you agree that people are on LinkedIn because they want to be contacted? They don’t create a LinkedIn profile and then join a monastery.

Bolan: That is it, exactly. LinkedIn, although it is formalized, there is a social aspect to it. It takes some work to make the shift to thinking, “It is okay to go on there and contact people.” In fact, people are inviting contact by being on LinkedIn.

Bottom line: Mark, the international job seeker in Saskatchewan, was hired in about 30 days with a single “guerrilla” job search tactic: He used LinkedIn unconventionally to request a meeting.

He did the following, which you can repeat in your own search for work:

  1. He targeted a specific hiring authority at a specific employer.

  2. He found at least one thing he had in common with that executive. In Mark’s case, it was the Russian language they both spoke.

  3. Rather than wait to get connected using the standard LinkedIn procedure, he found the executive’s email address and emailed to ask for a meeting.

  4. He brought samples of his work and a copy of his resume to that meeting.

  5. After taking a liking to him, that executive became Mark’s advocate and helped him get hired within his organization.

If you’re in doubt, test this idea on an employer you really don’t want to work for. Polish the message that you send by email and phone, until you get the results you want.

Then, pick an ideal employer and do what Mark did, following the five steps above.

Yes, this idea of reaching out and touching LinkedIn members directly is unconventional, perhaps even controversial.

But how’s that conventional job search been working for you?

- Kevin Donlin

Kevin Donlin is author of "Guerrilla Resumes." To learn how people are getting hired for new jobs in 30 days or less, please visit: Guerrilla Job Search International.

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