Recruiting practices are changing at a break-neck pace as new technology emerges, and many recruiters are software savvy and focused on innovation. (In fact so many recruiters are blogging that this week is the annual best recruiting blog contest.) These changes in recruiting cause fundamental changes in job hunting. Two months ago, I listed ten job hunt tactics you might not know. Here are six more to consider:
1. Use your blog as a resume.
Yes, that time has officially arrived: In some cases, “you can stop with the resume and just use a blog,” says Jason Warner, head of North America recruiting for Starbucks and author of the blog Meritocracy.net. “I could send you my resume. But do you really care what I did at Starbucks, or do you care how I’ll solve problems at your company and what’s important to me?”
Also, the presumption is on your side if you let a recruiter know you have a blog: “Blogging has given me an outlet to think about things differently,” says Warner, “and I am convinced that blogging makes people smarter.”
2. Find a blogger you want to work for.
Your chances of landing a job are much better if you know the person you will be working for, so find a blogger you’d like to work for, and start posting comments.
Most companies have at least one employee, or even a CEO, who is a dedicated blogger. Large companies, like Sun, have hundreds of serious bloggers. And most blogs have very small communities — one blogger and about twenty people who post intelligent comments on a regular basis. Make yourself one of those regulars over the span of a couple of months, and the blogger will appreciate you enough to do an informational interview. And then you’ll be at the top of his mind when he has a job opening.
Bonus: A blog is revealing of the writer, so you’ll have a good sense what you’re getting into when you go to work for a blogger.
3. Negotiate to change your current job.
Smart employers understand that they need to make flexible jobs in order to keep employees. Deloitte says they saved $100 million by creating flexible jobs for people who would otherwise leave. And Warner writes, in a post with one of my favorite titles, Holy Negotiation, BATNA!, that you are often in a more powerful position than you realize when you negotiate with an employer.
4. Build something the employer wants to buy.
It’s hard to stomach the idea of going to a big corporation and being entry level, but it’s also hard to imagine running a startup out of your basement for years and years with no financial stability in sight. A compromise is to build a feature that some company wants to buy for their current product line.
Another example: Netflix is offering $1 million to anyone who can improve their search mechanisms by 10%, and you could either take the money and run, or you could sell what you develop to a company that will take you on board in a salaried position you help create.
5. Find a recruiter to be your agent.
For this, admittedly, you have to be a star performer, but if you are, you can work with someone like David Perry, who has been known to attract the best of the best and then successfully represent those people to companies as if Perry is a Hollywood agent and the candidate is the movie star.
Perry describes this process for a time he represented two marketing geniuses: “I took them as a team. I calculated the return on investment and wrote the value proposition. I researched the market, created a web site and blog for them and built their profile by lining up newspaper interviews and podcasts.”
This is actually a primer for anyone who wants to market themselves. But by hooking up with a recruiter-agent-type like Perry, the results can be dramatic: “In the end,” he says, “the guys received eight offers, and they took five and started their own advertising agency.”
6. Sift through resume piles for possibilities.
If you have ever hired someone, you probably faced the loathsome stack of random resumes. But hold it. Maybe there’s someone there you don’t have a job for but you’d like to meet. The pile can tell you who’s out there. Or maybe there are twelve resumes from the same team at the same company. That’s competitive information. And maybe you can find a job for yourself in that pile; giving career advice must be genetic, because this final tip comes from my mom.