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When I finished writing my critically-acclaimed series “The Unemployment Diaries” after five weeks, I got a lot of messages asking me how I managed to land a job in such a short amount of time. Well, the answer is really actually quite simple: I took the skills I had finely honed stalking perspective boyfriends on the internet and applied them to my job search. Or, in other words, I used my powers for good instead of evil. How did I do it, you? Here is my step-by-step guide to help out all of you fellow job-seekers.
Step 1: Make sure your LinkedIn is air tight.
LinkedIn is the linchpin of my entire stalking-for-a-job strategy. But LinkedIn does one thing your other social media sites don’t – it lets people know that you’ve viewed their profile. Since the people you are going to be looking at could potentially be the person you want to hire you, you need to make sure your profile is, in the words of Brooklyn 99‘s Jake Perolta, “toit,” in case they view you back.
So what does your profile need to be its best? First, make sure all of your information (work history, education, memberships, etc.) matches your resume. Your LinkedIn is basically an online version of your resume, so it needs to reflect it. Second, a baller headline is necessary but tricky. If you’re looking while employed, you obviously don’t want to put anything in there that may tip off your current employers, but you also want to put your best foot forward. Your best bet is to go with something descriptive about you that doesn’t scream “I’m Looking For Job!”
Next is the picture. It would seem like a no-brainer that your LinkedIn photo should be professional, but I’ve seen so many ones that had no business even being on the internet, much less a professional representation of someone, so I’m just going to put it out there.
The last part of making sure your LinkedIn profile is ready for prime time is to start sharing content relevant to your field, so it looks like you are out there keeping up on what’s current. But remember to actually read whatever it is that you share; it would be a bad look to show up at the interview and get a question about a piece that you shared without reading.
Step 2: Find the Hiring Manager or Human Resources.
When I was looking for jobs, I personally utilized the job postings on LinkedIn, for one reason – most of them have the person who posted them right there on the job page, which makes this step super easy.
But you should still do this step even if you find the posting elsewhere – it’s just going to take a little investigative work.
First, start by searching LinkedIn for the person that the role you are interested in would likely be reporting to. For instance, if you are applying for Operations Manager, search for the Director of Operations. If that fails, look for people that the firm in Talent Acquisition or Human Resources – even if they aren’t the right person to connect with for the role, they will know who is.
Step 3: Connect.
But you can’t just hit the connect button. No one likes to get a request to connect from a random with no context. Instead, after you click on connect, you should get a pop up with the open to add a note. This is not optional unless you want to be viewed as some kind of a random weirdo.
And because I am a super kind person, I’ll even give you the exact wording the message you should send in your note:
I hope all is well with you! I had hoped we could connect regarding the [Job Title] position at [Company]. If you aren’t the appropriate person to discuss this role with, I’d appreciate it if you could point me in the right direction!
Step 4: Follow up.
Sometimes people will accept your connection and send you a message, which is great. But sometimes they accept your connection and don’t send you a message, which can be a bit awkward. Should you send another message? Or is that too pushy? Here’s my personal method – I make a note of when they accepted by connection and if I don’t hear from them within three days, I send a follow-up note.
Again, because I love you:
Thank you for connecting! I had hoped we could discuss the [job title] at [company]. I look forward to chatting soon!
Step 5: Believe in yourself.
Yeah, all of this is pretty awkward and occasionally disheartening, I know. But trust me, it works – I’m gainfully employed now, aren’t I?
And if you need more help, feel free to hit me up because I’m obviously an expert at this. .