Kevin: Hi, this is Kevin Donlin from Guerrilla Job Search International. Iâ€™m on the phone with Cara Colaluca of McKinney, Texas, formerly of Detroit, Michigan.
She has an excellent Guerrilla Job Search success story to share today. Thanks for joining me today, Cara.
Cara: My pleasure, Kevin. Thanks for having me.
Kevin: Youâ€™re very welcome. Weâ€™re in late May, 2010. Tell us your first encounter in Guerrilla Job Search Tactics around January of this year. Letâ€™s do a before and after examination. What was going on in your job search before January 1st, 2010? Were you looking for a job actively?
Cara: Yes. As of January 1, 2010, Iâ€™ve been job searching, I would consider pretty actively, for about 9 months.
Cara: I had grown frustrated in late 2009. On January 1, I wanted to turn over a new leaf, including turning over a new leaf in my job search. I came across information about the Guerrilla Job Search program and thought, â€œThis is a great way to start off the year.â€
Kevin: Excellent. Letâ€™s talk about what you were doing generally for those nine months. Were you applying to advertised jobs online? What were you doing to look for jobs?
Cara: Well, throughout 2009, I had been using advertised job postings like Monster, CareerBuilder, and Iâ€™d found that LinkedIn seemed to be the most comprehensive search and post site out there. It had some added benefits in terms of being able to determine who in your network might have a connection.
I was pretty much using those sites to find jobs that I thought looked interesting or I thought might match my skill set. I would write a custom resume and cover letter for each of those postings and apply online.
Kevin: In round numbers, how many resumes do you think you sent out during those nine months?
Cara: Probably about two dozen.
Kevin: And how many interviews and job offers did you get?
Kevin: And any job offers?
Cara: No, I think that following that interview they would have gone down that path, but I determined that that was probably a job that was not very well suited to me.
Cara: According to all the info out there, I would find something that seemed like a close enough match and settle for that, for the job that I thought I should apply to. After the first interview, I thought, â€œGosh, this is really not where I should be at all.â€
Kevin: Good. Youâ€™re very smart to trust your gut and listen to your instincts. A lot of people donâ€™t, so that was smart.
When did you start looking for a job using Guerrilla Tactics in earnest? What day or week or month was it this year?
Cara: January 1, 2010. As soon as I came across the information about Guerrilla Resumes, I thought, â€œWell, this is it. Letâ€™s start the new year off right.â€
The first thing I did upon receiving it was begin to read your program. The suggestion to read through all the material before doing anything was something I took seriously.
Kevin: When did you start sending out a Guerrilla RÃ©sumÃ©?
Cara: The first Guerrilla RÃ©sumÃ© I sent out was exactly two weeks after January 15.
Kevin: Excellent. So Guerrilla job hunting started in earnest with our tools on January 15. When did you accept the job that you now have, that you just moved to Texas for?
Cara: About 70 days later. Just over two months later, after a 9-month job search.
Kevin: How many interviews and job offers do you think you got?
Cara: I had 3 job offers. I had interviews with 5 different companies and felt thrilled, especially in the 2010 job market, to be someone sitting with 3 job offers on their plate.
Cara: While so many others that had been trying and trying, probably using tactics that I had used in 2009, and being frustrated. Yet here I was being able to take my pick of 3 excellent careers that really were well-matched to my skill set, my interests, and that I knew would be very fulfilling. I couldnâ€™t have said that about many of the jobs that I had applied for in 2009.
Kevin: Fantastic. How did you find out about each of the 3 companies that offered you a job?
Cara: Actually, two of the 3 companies that offered me a job were companies that I sort of decided to contact. My network, at the suggestion of the Guerrilla Job Search Tactic, using your network.
Understanding that if you donâ€™t have a contact in the company, the lifetime or the life cycle of your rÃ©sumÃ© in an HR personâ€™s in-box or on their desktop is incredibly short.
Cara: I searched the sites of companies that I held in high esteem, at which I had contacts, and began there. Those were two of the 3 companies.
Kevin: Let me stop you. How did you contact those companies? Did you email your rÃ©sumÃ©, mail it, or walk it in? How did you contact those two employers?
Cara: I emailed and snail mailed my rÃ©sumÃ© to my contact there.
Cara: I gave her a follow-up phone call a couple days after I had sent it out to either tell them to be on the lookout for it if they had not seen it yet, or to ask them what they thought.
When I would send the email or the snail mail letter, I included a cover letter that described how my specific skill set would be so beneficial to their employer and that they wouldnâ€™t want to overlook the opportunity to recommend me.
Cara: I did not just send the rÃ©sumÃ© blindly. I had folks that I know send me, â€œDear friends and family, Iâ€™m looking for a job, hereâ€™s my rÃ©sumÃ©.â€ That does not really help me recommend that person for a specific job. I tried to help my network help me.
Kevin: Excellent. Just to be thorough here, and Iâ€™m trying to pull out useful information, you both emailed and mailed contacts at companies where you wanted to work and you called each of them a few days later to follow up. You included a customized cover letter.
Cara: Yes, and I would include a cover letter that matched my skills specifically to one of the open positions in their company.
Kevin: These contacts, did they exist before you started your job search, or did you add these people to your network after you identified that you wanted to work at their companies?
Cara: These were actually people that had been in my network that I hadnâ€™t been using appropriately in the preceding months.
Kevin: Fantastic. All right. Then the third company, that actually ended up hiring you, how did you first get in contact with them?
Cara: I basically came across a very interesting-looking job posting on LinkedIn. I had never contemplated that particular company before, and found lo and behold that a close family friend worked for the company without my knowledge.
At that point, I added that person to my network. Someone who I had not worked with or reached out to in years, and they were so fired up about their company that they were happy to help me out, tell me all about it, and were actually really impressed by the Guerrilla RÃ©sumÃ©.
I think that they felt that even though we had been out of touch, I seemed so well-prepared and different from other folks that had come asking for referrals that they were really willing to reconnect and help me out.
When you were offered the job you took, did they help you with the relocation from Michigan to Texas?
Cara: They did.
Kevin: Excellent. What you did was very challenging, and they still wanted to hire you even though you were coming halfway across the country. You made that much of an impression?
Kevin: Excellent. Cara, you did tremendous work. Kudos to you. Now youâ€™ve got real job security because you have got a killer Guerrilla RÃ©sumÃ© now. You have moved up in your career. Congratulations and well done. You have given a lot of hope to a lot of people with your story.
Cara: Thanks, and thanks for all your help. I donâ€™t think I would have ever seen this outcome without the Guerrilla Resume.
Your Takeaway Lessons:
1) If you take the wrong job just because you think you need a paycheck, youâ€™re still taking â€¦ the wrong job. Cara was smart enough to recognize early on that she was interviewing for the wrong job. She didnâ€™t settle. Instead, she ended up with 3 job offers and her ideal job.
2) Help your network help you. In a word, be useful to other people, instead of pestering them for job openings. Thatâ€™s how Cara did it, with some training from us.
3) Never trust email alone. Cara made sure to print and mail copies of her Guerrilla Resume and/or call all people that she emailed her Guerrilla Resume to. You canâ€™t trust email 100% with anything â€” especially your career.
4) She sent a Guerrilla Resume. Nothing else looks like one, or works like one. Caraâ€™s numbers speak for themselves: interviews with 5 companies, 3 job offers, and one great new job â€” in about 70 days. This, after 9 months of a fruitless job search.