Guerilla job hunting

I’ve become tired of traditional job hunting methods. You apply for the job, someone receives the application on the other end and may or may not bother to read it. Larger companies will even use software to look for keywords within a CV and if you don’t match the software will automatically throw your application out. A perfect candidate for this position may not have enough of the keywords within their application meaning it gets thrown out, software isn’t exactly a great judge of suitability for a position.

I’ve resorted to a different method of application which to some may seem backward as the employer receives the CV post-contact but so far it has left employers impressed or slightly off guard. This method serves a few purposes, the first of which is to show initiative, the second of which is to gauge the employers actual interest in you as a candidate. Tonality, language used and other factors make a person’s intentions clear in a way that isn’t accurately conveyed in an email communication. 

The second is that with this method your CV is requested by the employer themselves and not just sent to them, you are no longer just a name on a piece of paper. If the employer asks for a cv it also means that you can ask for a specific internal email address to send it to, this way it skips any employment agency or third party that the employer may have to pay for the pleasure of receiving you as a candidate. Not only are you making yourself known but in some cases you may be saving them money. 

I’ve come to notice that on some of the jobsites I’ve used they do not list the name of the company or address but rather the location of the business on a mostly unmarked map, the only other information available is the name of the person hiring. I compare the unmarked map to my google maps app in order to find the location of the business. I then do research into the role, company and individual listed on the original advertisement. After this is complete I call the relevant department.

Let’s say this is the sales manager, I will call the main line and select the relevant department. Once I’m on the phone with a sales agent I then identify myself but not the purpose of my call. I allow the sales agent to assume I’m a customer then ask to be transferred to their manager. Believing I am a potential or existing customer they usually oblige, then I am transferred to their manager after which I make clear the reason for my call.

If my time in sales and telemarketing has taught me anything it’s this: You have about 30 seconds or so to interest the person on the other end of the line. That’s where you sell yourself, because this is targeted you already know exactly what the manager is looking for so it’s like fitting two pieces of a puzzle. I’m usually asked how I got this number etc after which I explain how I used their advertisement to find them specifically. Some are impressed by the initiative some are disconcerted by it. Either way I’ve been asked for my CV every single time.

I’ve even done this with jobs where I know somebody has left or quit, sometimes a week or more before an advertisement is even posted (cue twilight zone theme). That’s the main one that disconcerts them. I use the opener ‘I recently become aware of an opening within your organisation’ luckily for me at this point they’re too weirded out to even ask how I became a privy to this information. I can’t help thinking I may have overreached in a way…

I’ll know when I’m suddenly inundated by multiple offers at once, if I look at it in a positive light my efforts may afford me the luxury of choice. I recognise this method is not for everyone but I’m basically making use of telemarketing techniques from my sales career and investigative techniques I learned. The combination of these skill sets has provided me with a greater response rate than traditional methods of application. 

I’m currently considering whether targeted emails could be a viable tactic. Again advertising myself as a candidate whilst skipping the usual CV pile. Showcase myself and my skills then wait until I get a bite. The only thing being that this would be quite time consuming as each would have to be personalised but that isn’t a far cry from your usual job hunt. I don’t really see the point of going through the usual channels, dealing with recruitment agents of having my cv and cover letter sit in an inbox until the person hiring can be bothered to read them.

90% of the time the staff I came into contact with just assumed I’m a customer who has a problem with an order or product. Assumption is my friend in this case. 

I’m surprised by the lack of negative reaction to these tactics and just like in my old sales positions, if you get a rejection it doesn’t matter really. Just make sure you’re 100% focused and you’ve pre-planned responses to their questions, kind of like objection handling in sales, so you don’t end up like (see below) on the other end of the phone.

You really cannot afford to hesitate during these calls, remain calm and relaxed at all times. Most importantly have an answer for everything because this is basically the job hunting version of cold calling. 

I’ve never had these ideas suggested to me by anybody, mainly I was just bored with normal job hunting techniques and got a little bit creative. In a way I feel like my time in marketing wasn’t entirely wasted and I’m waiting to see the fruits of my labour. It has definitely increased my response rate. 



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