Technology can be a wonderful servant … and an awful master.
To find work faster, remember that your goal with any gadgetry or software — from smart phones and email to Linkedin and Twitter — is to meet people who can hire you.
What that in mind, here are two ways to find a job — one high-tech and the other very low — from Australia. How can you adapt them to your search?
1) Tweet and Meet
Jade Craven (www.jadecraven.com), in Geelong, Australia, found work in August 2009 by doing a few smart things on Twitter.
She offered the following five tips to help you do the same.
1. Go to Tweetups
A “Tweetup” is a meeting of people who follow each other’s postings (tweets) on Twitter. Craven attended a Tweetup organized by a woman she followed on Twitter — the same woman who eventually hired her.
You can find Tweetups by monitoring tweets of people in your industry whom you’d like to meet — that’s what Craven did. You can search for Tweetups here – http://www.twtvite.com or here – http://search.twitter.com
For more on how to find Twitter users near you, read this article on Mashable – http://mashable.com/2009/06/08/twitter-local-2/
2. Provide Advice for Free
Craven regularly sent useful ideas to her future employer using the direct message (DM) function on Twitter.
You should do the same and share helpful tips in most of your tweets or DMs — it’s an excellent way to showcase expertise and build a following.
3. Connect With Connectors
Craven followed several people who enjoy helping and introducing other people to each other. The right “connectors” can help you meet employers.Â Â But don’t expect help from anyone before first providing it yourself (see 2. above).
Not sure who the connectors are in your field? Ask people you know. Or search Twitter (http://search.twitter.com).
4. Make It Known That You Are Looking For Work
Craven says, “I often talked about how I wanted to get a job at the end of the year” in her Twitter postings. This got the attention of the woman who hired her over lunch in August.
5. Offer To Help
Sharing your skills and expertise with others is a low-risk way for potential employers to size you up. “You donâ€™t even have to do it for free â€“ you can do it at a reduced price,” says Craven, who found increased exposure for her work by helping others.
While this is a variation on “Provide Advice for Free” above, the repetition is noteworthy. Itâ€™s by helping others first that you create enough “psychic equity” to earn job leads later.
Bottom line: Craven used Twitter to meet people in the real world, forgingÂ a personal connection that led to a job offer.
(A big thanks to the folks at Twitter Tips [www.twitterusermanual.com] for passing this story on to me.)
2) Fax and Meet
Jennifer Lloyd, from Brisbane, Australia, found work using methods that were low-tech (fax) and no-tech (meeting employers in person).
The Brisbane job market is highly competitive, according to Lloyd, who faxed about 50 resumes and delivered another 150 in person to employers over a five-week period, from July to September 2009.
She writes: “I loved faxing instead of emailing. Someone has to see [the resume] and canâ€™t delete it without looking!”
Lloyd got the names of hiring managers from online Chamber of CommerceÂ databases, publicly available listings of businesses in a particular area.Â She also researched corporate web sites for contact information.
If a potential employer was nearby, she hand-delivered her resume.Â Companies farther from home were faxed, when possible.
In general, managers were pleased to meet someone willing to take the initiative and drop off resumes in person, according to Lloyd, who did encounter one rude receptionist, to whom she handed her resume anyway. If an office building required a security check or authorization to visit, Lloyd avoided entering.
Her results? “I was offered two jobs and am happily working in one now,” says Lloyd, who received one offer from faxing and another offer from delivering her resume in person.
Bottom line: Lloyd set a goal to deliver 10 resumes and fax 10 resumes every week day. By working her plan methodically and meeting enough people, she found work.
What do these intrepid Aussies have in common? They didnâ€™t hide behind technology. Instead, they used it to set up meetings with hiring managers, or dispensed with it altogether and visited in person.
You can do the same, by using technology with discipline and clear goals … when you use it at all. Remember: Nobody has ever been hired by a computer. You have to meet people for that.
Article by Kevin Donlin, co-author of “Guerrilla Resumes.” Kevin has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Fox News, ABC TV, CBS Radio and others since 1996.
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