It's no question that COVID-19 put a damper on the job market. The Economic Release via the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states,
In July, the number and rate of hires decreased to 5.8 million (-1,183,000) and 4.1%, respectively. Also, hires decreased in a number of industries, with the largest fall in accommodation and food services (-599,000) followed by other service (-143,000) and healthcare and social assistance (137,000).
Considering this, we'd like to share what's been working for job seekers that found themselves on the market. We see you and we got you! Use these strategies below and you'll 100% find a role during COVID or otherwise.
Remember: September and October are one of the biggest hiring months of the year, along with January and February, so let's get started!
Stop looking at networking as this colossal, scary activity you need to google 'networking email templates' for. It really is just making friends online.
Here are the three best ways to go about it:
Strategy 1: Create a pipeline from social media to LinkedIn
Join Facebook/Slack/Reddit groups that senior professionals go to or follow Twitter threads or websites with active comment sections like Fairygodboss.
For example, if you're a data analyst trying to find a new role, then join a SQL/Tableau/Python group.
Join groups that senior professionals are in, not one for job seekers. You want to network with folks who are already working for the companies you're targeting.
After, hang out there, comment wherever you feel led to and ask to connect with them on LinkedIn. That's where you can thank them for connecting with you and start the conversation. This could be asking to jump on a virtual coffee to ask questions about their firm or get their advice in some other way. Ask yourself what you need and start there. Don't just schedule the call to schedule it.
"I read your paper/article/post about ____ and was blown away by ____ because ____. I'm currently looking to gain more insight on ____. Would you be open to sharing your thoughts on a virtual coffee for 15 minutes this week?"
If you'd like to work for their company, share that and why. Try:
"I didn't realize you worked for ____. I've followed them for some time. I understand if this is too forward but if not, would you be open to sharing the best person to send a resume to? If not, I understand completely. Thanks for the time!"
Strategy 2: Propose pro-bono project work
If you're a creative or technologist and you're not working, this strategy is for you.
It's also a conversation starter if you're planning on reaching out to folks working at the companies you're targeting.
Lastly, it can also position you as a consultant, so if you'd like to grab a quick paid contract, you'll have an easier time getting one.
Strategy 3: Reach out to recruiters AND team members
In a pre-COVID era, messaging one recruiter at every company you applied to could get you a good ROI on interview requests. However, this strategy hasn't been working as well since there are more job seekers on the market. This is why we recommend sending messages to an entire group or multiple group members at the company you're applying to.
Now, this doesn't mean you'll be spamming an entire product team with the same copy and paste message. It just means you'll connect with multiple members of the team. Once they accept your connect request, send over a short and sweet note.
FYI: Expect about a 30% response rate here. Most of the group won't accept your request mainly because most (outside of founders/sales people and recruiters) don't hang out on or check their LinkedIn often. So, don't take it personal.
Let's say for example, if you are applying to the messenger data science team at Facebook, it's important for you to find those group members and connect with them. You'll find the group members once you head over to FB on LinkedIn, and then go to their "People" page, and filter by "data scientist or data science."
You can shoot them a note like this one below. Feel free to tailor it so you don't send the same thing to everyone. Be intentional and send notes to 1-10 people a day, just so you have the energy to really write something special.
You could write something as simple as:
Thanks for accepting my request! This may be a bit forward to ask but I was hoping you'd be open to sharing the best point of contact to share my resume with? I'd love to be considered for your team. Thank you so much for your time!
Thanks for the connection. I'm sending a note because I just sent over an application for the data team. Please let me know if you or another member of the recruitment team would be interested in speaking with me regarding my application. I'd be happy to share some additional information on my experience and projects. Thank you for the time!
Feel free to edit this by how formal/casual you'd like. For example, it's a better idea to be more formal in a message to an investment banking recruiter vs. a recruiter at Instagram.
You can get a role at any time. Now, however, you have a better chance of getting more interviews by adding in these networking techniques.
- 'Make friends'/network via groups OFF of LinkedIn and then take the party over there once you're ready to start networking or make your 'asks' (advice calls, information interviews, referrals, etc.)
- Start some projects with friends or new friends. Create an end-to-end coding project or a creative one. Add it to your portfolio, website, GitHub and LinkedIn.
- For every single role you apply to, message at least 1-3 recruiters at the firm and connect with most of the group/your future team members. Don't be shy. This is how you get your application seen.
Let us know how it goes via Instagram and feel free to visit our other job search articles for additional assistance. We've got quite a bit of information you can use to secure that bag sooner rather than later!