How to find work: Stalking isn’t always bad

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When you’re thinking about how to find work, consider this; stalking isn’t just for crazy people. Everyone stalks. Or so we’d like to think. Exes, exes’ girlfriends, exes’ girlfriend’s new haircuts. And while there’s no stalking like the old Myspace, we continue to get new and improved platforms that make it faster, easier and a lot more interesting. So why not apply this to something a bit more productive, like say, landing a job? That’s right. It’s time to take full advantage of your usually non-publicized skills, and if you’re not the stalker-type, well, it’s time to change that. Here are some tips.

Friend and Follow

When companies are hiring they are more than likely going to post it on their website, and then their LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Why? Because it’s the fastest and cheapest way to reach their ideal candidate. HR and department directors oftentimes assume that many of the professionals in their area are already following them online, and that in the event of a job posting, it’s going to be quickly and easily shared with others, all at no cost to them. So, be where they are. Hit up their website, click on all of their fancy icons, and start keeping tabs. You never know when something is going to pop up, literally!

Link Up

While this should be obvious to most, many people don’t use LinkedIn to its full potential—and there’s a lot of it. Once you’ve established the companies and businesses that interest you, follow them. If they’re not hiring at the moment, they’ll be using their LinkedIn status to let people know when they are. Then, find the bigwigs in the company i.e. HR directors and anyone that leads or directs your particular department of interest. Check out their profiles (duh) and if you can, connect with them. Because if you’re a LinkedIn user, you know that when people look at your profiles, you look at theirs right back. What better way to get noticed? (Just remember to keep up with your profile. Once you start scoping around, your page is the first place people will look so don’t neglect it.) And while you’re at it, check out your competition. It always helps to know the credentials and background of those that already have the jobs you are seeking, so if they have certain certificates, Google it, or better yet, get it. Is their portfolio beyond amazing? Make yours amazing. You get the picture.

Show Up

It is a known fact that people like talking about themselves and what they do, which can actually work out great for you. So after you’ve done your research and have found out who is in charge, or who does the hiring for the job(s) on your radar, contact them. But here’s the catch; don’t divulge that you are looking for a job. Tell them that you would just like to meet with them and learn more about the company or, that you’re looking to break into the industry and were wondering if they had any tips they could share. Although this may seem daunting or even silly, you would be surprised how often it works. And instead of sending an email that could easily be discarded, make a phone call. It is likely this person would be flattered or simply impressed with your determination and enthusiasm. Then, if and when you get the chance to meet, your last steps are simple: be on time, look professional, talk a little about what you know, and then LISTEN to what they have to say. Because if you can impress them, you just might be the first to know when a position opens up and at the very least, you will have made one more great contact in your field.

So there are a few tips on how to find work by stalking. Now get out there and start putting your investigative skills to work. However, be mindful of keeping a subtle approach. While we have proof that this homework can and does pay off, the last thing you want to do is look crazy or over-the-top. Also, don’t start seeking out visibility until your own online presence is in check. That means beefing up your profile pages, double-checking your default pictures, and (if applicable) having your portfolio up-to-date, because there’s no sense in drawing attention if you don’t at least appear to be an appealing candidate.