There’s a Chuck Norris joke that goes, “Chuck Norris doesn’t go hunting because hunting implies failure. Chuck Norris goes killing.” I thought about titling this post “Job Killing” but that sounds terrible, so I stuck with “Job Hunting”. This post is going to be short, more like an outline of a post, but I hope it’s helpful and leads you to better places.
The steps to “job killing”
Seth Godin knows all about this, so if you want to dig deeper look for his stuff. Here’s my brief list.
- Make a list of places that need your skills. Separate the list into 3 groups: 1) don’t want to work there, 2) want to work there, and 3) really want to work there
- If you need practice interviewing, do all these steps with as many places from groups 1 and 2 above as you need in order to feel confident to amaze the companies in group 3
- If you don’t need practice in step 2, don’t waste your time applying to the places you want to work. Instead, focus solely on the places you really want to work. Profile them. Stalk them. Find out everything about them. Who works there, what do they do, etc. An entire post, nay, book! could be written on this step, but I won’t.
- Network with everyone you can that works there. Go to events they are likely to attend. Connect via LinkedIn. Invite them to breakfast, lunch, tea, dinner, coffee, dessert, anything to get some time with them. When you meet them, that’s your cover letter. But when you talk to them, don’t make it all about “hire me please hire me oh please oh please.” Listen to them. Ask good questions. Ask questions about their career or employer that they may not have heard before. But of course let them know you’re looking for work.
- After you’ve jumped through whatever digital hoops that company has setup that they call an “application process,” send your resume directly to people at the company, preferably those you’ve already met.
- Follow up with them in whatever way is appropriate to your industry.
I said this list was brief, and it is, but this should be a great framework upon which to build.
Large, open networks get you jobs. Go to as many industry-specific meetups as you can. Go to industry-specific events in the community. Get to know people’s names. Make sure people know your name, that you’re looking for a job, and what job(s) you’re looking for. For extroverts this stuff usually isn’t too onerous. For introverts, read on. Actually, extroverts, we’re terrible listeners sometimes, so you keep reading, too.
Networking for Introverts (and Extroverts Who Don’t Listen Good)
What you want to get out of networking is a large, open network (see article linked above). That means lots of acquaintances, not best friends or necessarily even friends (I’m here making the distinction between friend and acquaintance based on level of intimacy, not whether you like them or not). And in order to do that you just have to make people feel good, which means listening well and asking good questions. Anyone can do that no matter what level of anxiety you have towards social gatherings. Ok, that last statement is naive, but if you have serious anxiety about this stuff, there are resources out there. Networking is super valuable. Get to it.