"Dperry"- Thanks for a stimulating and frank discussion of guerilla job tactics and for not recycling the same old tired mantras on the Execunet webcast. I would like to see what your lost chapter is all about.
Also, although you demonstrated that direct contact was the way to go, the reason a lot of people aren't doing it more is that there is so little agreement about the best way to accomplish it. Your story about tracking the exec down in his bathroom was cute and made for a good journalistic newsbite, but I don't know how practical and systematic that is for most of the non-sales executives on the broadcast, especially when there is some uncertainty about how how good a match or how great a need there may actually be at one particular employer. (I'm also the one who asked about "research" and the lack of specifics it yields.)
As a "for instance" of the propaganda we get, see the quote below for a hardened opinion by one of the opinion makers in the executive job search business, John Lucht (Rites of Passage at $100,000...). I'm sure you and Jay would not be anywhere in the ball park on this line of thought. Does the book lay out some sound approaches?
UNLESS YOUR NAME AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS WILL ALREADY BE KNOWN TO THE DECISION MAKER, THEN YOUR MOST COURTEOUS AND EFFECTIVE APPROACH WILL BE AN IMPRESSIVE ON-PAPER SUBMISSION.
If you're unknown to both the gatekeeper and the decision maker when you phone, you'd have to be the world's glibbest con artist to imagine that you can talk your way through to an exceedingly busy and prominent person. So don't even try. You'll only make yourself look ridiculous and spoil the majestic entrance you could otherwise make on the wings of a powerful referral. If, in the long run, you have no better introduction than a superb on-paper mailing, don't doom it to failure by being remembered as the dope on the phone who tried to barge in with no credentials earlier. THE BOTTOM LINE Gatekeepers will do their job, whether you like it or not. So, cooperate ... or move along to another gate. THE TAKE AWAY Sometimes, you can't bypass a good person doing a good job.
Dear Job Hunter
Yes GM4JH lays out many tactics and strategies to lead you to your ultimate goal – an interview and an offer. The book is heavy on the do-this and not-that advice. The tactical “dirt under your fingernails” stuff.
I am quite sensitive to the needs of the non-sales executives. Of the 47 ways to find a job perhaps 3 require the type of outgoing personality normally found in a sales or marketing type. We knew full well that the readers of GM4JH would be 95% comprised of people who are NOT S&M people.
The book is slanted toward creating interest in yourself as a candidate by showcasing what you have already done for others – thereby implying “I can so the same for you” – through creative packaging of your experience.
As to John’s assertion: UNLESS YOUR NAME AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS WILL ALREADY BE KNOWN TO THE DECISION MAKER, THEN YOUR MOST COURTEOUS AND EFFECTIVE APPROACH WILL BE AN IMPRESSIVE ON-PAPER SUBMISSION.
I can’t agree and here’s why. The purpose of Guerrilla Marketing is so your name “will” be known –even if you can’t ride on “the wings of a powerful referral” – and your experience desired by employers for the rest of your life.
A career is a process with many transactions [jobs] with you as the CEO of Me Inc. Deciding who you work with is your business – literally. You’re not “powerless” which is the impression this quote leaves me with. As the holder of the asset [knowledge+ skills+ aptitude], you have ALL the power. Your job is to articulate your value in a manner they understand – that’s the challenge. If the Gatekeeper – gets it – and most do, s/he will let you through whether your approaching them by phone, fax, email or paper. It a gate keeper’s job to pan for gold for their boss and to keep the “claim jumpers” at bay. What impression does your approach leave?
In this instance the author is talking about networking which is the major underpinning of the book – in the context of 1988 when it was first published - and it’s a good book on networking, but networks are passive not active. The challenge becomes what do you do when you don’t have a powerful referral? When you’re not known outside your circle of acquaintances? When your circle drive Chevy’s and not Jags?
The challenge with networking in general is that traditional networking ultimately relies on having a fundamental belief in the kindness of strangers. At its core, it preaches that job-hunters must have faith that they’ll find a job through a friend of a friend of a friend. This is largely a myth.
Although I’ve heard that this strategy yielded great results in the past, it’s not enough today. With the constantly changing marketplace, there is more competition for fewer leads. Traditional networking is much like casting your fate to the wind. It is too passive to rely on. Moreover, there are three flaws in traditional networking in my opinion:
1. You need to have a network at hand when you find yourself out of work (by the way—being out of work is not the best time to start building one).
2. It requires you to be at least a little outgoing because you need to talk to strangers.
3. There’s no way to guarantee the jobs people refer will be ones you’ll excel at, much less be interested in.
On the networking front, Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters shows you – in great detail – how headhunters and executive search professionals use networking to discover opportunities where it would appear that none currently exist.
Beyond networking, GM4JH shows you how to command attention. How to leverage the halo effect of your previous employer[s] brand; how to build buzz; how to become the designated expert - even how to work with the gate keeper to make them beg to hire you!
Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters