9 Guerrilla Job Hunting Tactics to Land Your Dream Job

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A military black spyglass laid on a camouflage mimetic green scarfA small minority of candidates engage in what I loosely term ‘Guerrilla Job-Hunting Tactics’. What do I mean by this? I mean that there are 26,000,000 job job seekers in America at the moment, and probably about 25,740,000 are using standard job seeking tactics to find jobs, but about 1 percent of them are finding innovative, creative, unusual job seeking tactics to grab the attention of employers and land their dream jobs. These are what I call Guerrilla Job Hunting Tactics.

So, if you are feeling jaded with your current mainstream job-hunting tactics read below as I show you some of the coolest guerilla job hunting tactics in play today.

1. Twitter – Guerrilla style

We all know about Twitter, hardly original. But, even within this system, there are innovative ways to capture the attention of employers. This approach works better with smaller employers who don’t have thousands of followers, but this shouldn’t matter as small businesses make up more than 99.7 percent of employers in the U.S.

Here’s the first tip. Carefully research a range of small employers that you would like to work for. Then find their Twitter account and follow them. As you know, when a Twitter account gains a new follower the account owner is notified. Most people/smaller employers are intrigued when they get a new follower, and more often than not click on the link. That link is you. You now have their attention for a split second. What you do with it is up to you. Entice them in with a sparkling personal profile advertising yourself to them. Include a link in your Twitter profile to a YouTube video CV presentation. Recommend a new product for their portfolio.

2. The best guerrilla job-hunting video

In the example above I left you with the idea of of using a video CV as an unusual way of grabbing and sustaining the employer’s attention. While I don’t think that video CVs are exactly bleeding edge—they are not the mainstream yet—I still think they constitute a Guerrilla job-hunting tactic. However, to get the full Guerrilla effect you need to do more than just present a basic, run-of-the-mill monologue. Do something different. Look at the video by Graeme Anthony on YouTube as an example of a video, which is different and a bit Guerrilla. Make sure you stick around until Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues” starts playing.

3. LinkedIn – Guerrilla Style

Yes, there is even a Guerrilla approach to LinkedIn. All LinkedIn users are given the opportunity to see who the last five people are who viewed their profile. The natural curiosity of most folks is to regularly check and see who has been viewing them and then to wonder why. Most will click on the profiles that have been viewing them. So this presents a clear opportunity for you to subtly capture the attention of an employer. Like with Twitter, you should research carefully and click on employers that you want to work for and where your skills and experience are ideally suited. Seeing this, curious potential employers will click on you. Now that you have their attention, it is up to you to set up a trail for them to follow. Ensure your profile is geared toward attracting their attention and markets you as a clear prospect for a role in their firm. Within a day or so of them making the inquiry, you can follow up with an email through more traditional LinkedIn channels or by making a call.

4. Cold-Calling

The prospect of cold-calling employers and facing rejection after rejection sends shivers down the spine of most applicants, deterring most people from doing it. This is exactly what makes it a perfect guerrilla job-hunting tactic for current times. Before doing it, research and try and target employers who have a need that you can fulfill. For example, are they growing or expanding into a new area or product line that you have skills in? When you call your script is simple: Explain that you have heard that they are expanding/growing, which means that may be in need of people with these skills and, then you can go on to explain how you have those skills. Research names and always have a named contact who you can direct the receptionist to connect you too.

If you don’t get through the first time, keep trying.

5. Focus on companies, not jobs

There is no question about it. Most people apply for open jobs. They don’t apply to companies on a speculative basis to see if they have a job, which makes it a clear Guerrilla tactic in my book. Make a list of companies that you like and are specifically suited to, (also check out competitors), and either make speculative inquiries or follow them on Twitter so you can be alerted when jobs become available. This means you will always be ahead of the game and targeting jobs and employers that you are perfectly suited for.

6. Send a token incentive to the employer

A certain Janet FritzHuspen’s token incentive was a mug (which contained her resume and cover letter) which she mailed to employers in the local area as her application for the job. The letter read, “I would like to meet you over coffee to discuss how I can benefit ABC Corporation as your Director”. What was important here was that she sent the application by Fed-Ex so she could track and know when it was signed for. This meant she could call 15 or twenty minutes after while the employer was still switched on to her inquiry. Janet sent three coffee cups in two weeks and got one interview, which landed her the job.

7. Start the job during the interview

Most people will attend the interview and answer the interview questions as required; many will excel at answering those questions. This is fine, but hardly a Guerrilla tactic. Why not do something more inventive and actually start doing the job? This does not mean walk out of the interview and take up a desk in the office. What I mean is if you are a product marketer, propose a new product; if you are sales person, devise a prospect lists with key contacts; if it’s an editorial role, bring in one of the article’s publications with your amendments, and so on.

8. Put your own resume online and make it keyword rich

While many people have profiles on LinkedIn, few job-hunters place their own resume online so they can be found by recruiters doing searches through the Google databases. Some professions are better than others; for example, if you are looking for SEO marketers you will have no trouble finding candidates on the Google database. It is not so easy to find candidates in other professions, such as finance, (believe me, I’ve tried it), which makes it a clear guerrilla tactic. So, start breaking the mold and place your own keyword-rich resume online so you can come at the top of search results for recruiters looking for candidates with your skills.

9. Starting at the bottom in the mail room

The mail room is the oldest Guerrilla tactic of all, a back door into a massive organization that might not otherwise be open further up the ladder. With hard work and dedication the lowly mail room attendant can work his or her way up from the bottom and mug the Harvard graduates for the CEO seat. If you don’t believe me, please review the list of leading executives who started in the mail room boasting the likes of Simon Cowell of “The X Factor,” Ron Meyer, president and CEO of Universal Studios, and former NYSE Chairman Dick Grasso.



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Kazim Ladimeji is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, and has been a practicing HR professional for 14 years. Kazim is the Director of The Career Cafe: a resource for start-ups, small business and job seekers.