Guerrilla Marketing, like Guerrilla Warfare, evens the playing field between large entities with resources and the little guys. Here’s how Jay Levinson, who wrote the book and coined the term in 1984, describes Guerrilla Marketing: : The soul and essence of guerrilla marketing consist of achieving conventional goals, such as profits and joy, with unconventional methods, such as investing energy instead of money.”
How can you apply Guerrilla Marketing techniques to your job search? That’s the question Rob Mendez will be answering in his presentation at the CareerSource Professional Network meeting on November 17. He’s used unconventional techniques to research and connect with hiring managers in his own career as an IT project manager, and he invests his free time in helping other job seekers learn from his experience. Mendez describes himself as a “battle-hardened IT executive” focused on delivering breakthrough results through technology. He’s also a published author, consultant, speaker, and trainer, and has been featured in USA Today, PBS, Sirius XM Radio, and The White House Blog. Mendez believes that most job search advice is outdated. “Everyone gets the same advice about their resume and search strategy – it’s basically a one size fits all approach. But the market is very different from one industry to another; industries have different cultures, different objectives, and different kinds of people reading your resume. You have to get inside their heads to get noticed.” In fact, Mendez says, you have two audiences: your human screener and the applicant tracking system that receives your resume. You can cultivate relationships with humans, but the applicant tracking system is not your friend. Mendez estimates that 70 percent of qualified applicants are screened out before a person ever sees their application (along with, presumably, 100 percent of unqualified applicants.) Of the 30 percent who survive the digital cut, almost all meet all of the minimum qualifications for the job. That turns them into commodities; if every model has the same features, companies feel free to shop on price and look for bargains. That’s bad news for candidates, so Mendez helps people find another route to the hiring manager. He helps people understand what he calls the “force multiplier effect”: adding several techniques to your job search to increase the chances of being noticed. To be successful, he recommends three strategies (in place of the single strategy most job seekers employ.) Strategy one is to hone your search down to one or two high quality targets. A more intense focus on fewer opportunities increases your chance at success. Strategy #2 is to take a top-down approach: find a way to get to higher-level people in the company and provide a strong value proposition. While recruiters focus on filling slots, executives are focused on solving problems. If you can prove that you can eliminate a pain point, you’ll get the attention of the people with the power to hire. The third strategy is a passive one: make sure your LinkedIn profile is strong enough to create interest and generate (job) leads. Turning job leads into job offers is an art form, and Mendez suggests that most job seekers don’t understand the sales process. As a company connects with a candidate, there will be several touch points, and each requires a different kind of communication. More on that in a future post. Learn more about how Rob Mendez helps people in career transition through his volunteer organization at http://www.careernetworkoutreach.org .