Just because we’re in the middle of a pandemic doesn’t mean your hustle should be put on hold. For ambitious young professionals, the challenging times have served as motivation to come up with new, more innovative ways to stand out (virtually) to hiring managers. One of these more “direct” ways to make your job interest known is simple: send the company or business leader a direct message. Shoot your shot, girl.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still apply for the position online, but afterward, why not send the company’s Instagram account a message introducing yourself? Let them know why hiring you is the best choice. Then, if you happen to do a little extended research on the company’s hiring manager, department manager or CEO/president, send them a message too. While this method may seem a little forward, it has proved successful.
Jessica May, a journalist in her 20s, is proof that a single DM can make all the difference in landing the job. In her final semester at the University of North Florida, May knew she wanted to pursue a career in journalism. She also knew that getting a foot in the door in such a competitive industry is often the hardest part. Thinking of alternative avenues into a role within the news business, May remembered that the digital content manager at a local station had spoken during one of her college classes. After multiple unanswered corporate online applications, she wondered if maybe he could help her get a job there.
“I reached out to him about the job I wanted with the idea being that even if he didn’t answer, at least I could say I tried. I used LinkedIn so he’d know I was keen on social media,” May explains. “Two weeks later he messaged me back asking when would be a good time to come in for an interview. Honestly, I didn’t really expect him to answer me, let alone offer me an interview.”
After a few years at that station, May was ready for a new career adventure, and maybe a somewhat normal work schedule. Yet right around the same time as she began exploring other opportunities, COVID-19 hit. Between hiring freezes and layoffs, career prospects weren’t exactly blooming last spring. Instead of losing hope, this time around May started sending DMs to companies she wanted to work for, regardless of whether or not they had posted openings—because, why not?
“I was talking with a friend about how cool it would be to run social media for a large company, and I said, ‘Let me just DM a company and see if they answer,’” May recalls, “The company I messaged replied asking for my resume, and a month later I began working for them. I needed to use my creativity to get noticed, and would never have guessed that could be done as easily as sliding into a company’s DMs. As it turns out, social media accounts can serve as resumes too.”
Social media expert Matt Navarra says he loves these sorts of social media hustle moves. He says his former employer, The Next Web, always encouraged this creative approach from candidates seeking roles with the company. The Next Web felt these messages demonstrated that the candidate has confidence, salesmanship skills, and creative thinking.
Geekout on Discord – Geeks Wanted
I’m finalising the setup of Geekout on Discord and need help.
I’m looking for people who:
1) Love Geekout / Social Media
2) Have lots of exp with Discord servers
3) Have exp of creating / using bots on Discord
Is that you? DM me.
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) January 13, 2021
However, Navarra stresses that for those looking to try this method, they should do some research first. He believes that this sort of approach may only work for certain types or roles and in certain industries. For instance, less social media-savvy brands may not appreciate this approach.
“If you are going to slide into a company’s DMs and sell yourself into a role, I’d advise you to spend a bit of time honing your pitch. It needs to be very concise, original, and grab the intention of the person on the other end of the DM,” Navarra cautions. “And remember, won’t be a recruiter or HR staff. They will be a social media manager or similar, so think about how to appeal to them to spark the response you want and get your foot in the door.”
Although it takes courage to reach out, the “DM application” might be more common than you think, according to Hannah Morgan, founder of Career Sherpa. In her work as a job search and career search specialist, Morgan says she has seen job seekers use DMs and create qualification videos and accomplishment presentations in job application efforts. While these self-marketing materials are risky in the sense that there’s a chance they may never be seen, she says that “you also never know what will happen unless you try.”
Morgan adds that social media platforms are a great public forum to use to catch employers’ attention and get noticed. Job seekers should first understand the needs of the company they are targeting, then create their pitch to highlight how they could help the company succeed and overcome challenges.
“Only about 20% of jobs are filled through online job boards. This means that job seekers should diversify their strategies to include as many as possible,” Morgan, author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success, explains. “If they think about their search as a marketing campaign, they can use social media marketing strategies. Companies are on social media.”
For example, Paul Yacoubian, founder of copy.ai, recently took to Twitter to seek out his company’s first hire. How was he fielding job applications? Through DMs, or what he refers to as his “personal customer relationship management system.”
I am looking for someone to help us build, run and scale growth at https://t.co/3MbLWEzu88.
This will be our first hire.
If you need a job description, this is not for you.
If you are interested, I want you to pitch me in my DMs.
If you know someone, tag them below.
— Paul Yacoubian (@PaulYacoubian) January 15, 2021
“DM‘ing an executive at a company you want to work at and showing them the passion you have for the company’s mission can give you a really high chance of success for getting an interview and landing a job at the company,” Yacoubian says. “You can add value by identifying some high-value project that the company isn’t doing yet, and just do it for them and show them the results too. DMs are the biggest value creation feature of any social network in my opinion, and Twitter’s is the best.”
Based on social media recruiting statistics, Morgan recommends engaging in career outreach on platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and Snapchat, in addition to Twitter. She noted that smaller companies often have less structure and hiring hurdles, so they may be more responsive to a creative approach. Any hiring manager who respects innovation or out-of-the-box thinking may also be receptive.
“The best time to reach out to a company is before a job is available. Pitch yourself as a solution to the company and show how they need you on their team. Leaders are always on the lookout for their next great hire,” Morgan advises. “Aim high and be a risk-taker.”
Images: 13_Phunkod / Shutterstock.com; mattnavarra, PaulYacoubian / Twitter; Hannah Morgan / LinkedIn
Want more honest career advice other than things you should never put on your resume? Pre-order our third book, When’s Happy Hour? out October 23rd!
While you’re climbing up the ladder to boss betchdom, at some point you’ll probably have to apply for a job. Unless you’re planning on pulling an Elle Woods and sharing a
borderline pornographic classy bikini pic of yourself to get noticed, you’ll have to create a badass resume. The worst feeling, (yes, worse than finding out Colton is the new Bachelor #teampeter4ever), is applying for a job online, only to get a rejection letter 24 hours later.
Us betches *should* be good at resumes. I mean, we’re really good at
bragging talking about our accomplishments, so shouldn’t we be good at putting it all on paper? Not always. If you want to avoid this rejection that vaguely reminds you of all of your middle school years, I got you. I’ve compiled all the things you should never put on your resume. I see a crack in that glass ceiling already.
1. An Objective
As much as you want to f*cking yell your lifelong career goals (a corner office, a Rachel Green approved hot assistant, millions of Instagram followers), adding an objective statement to your resume will not do you any good. It’s not only as outdated as your pink RAZR flip phone (RIP), it also can corner you into a career path completely irrelevant to the job your applying for.
The best thing you can do within your resume is SHOW how your past experience will relate to a future role, specifically the role you are applying to. We’d recommend including numbers, results and specific examples of your past success. That will be the best example of why you should be chosen for a job.
2. Your Age Or GPA
Although you’re obsessively taking collagen and sneaking off to Botox appointments during lunch, your work is one place where you don’t want to seem young. I mean, it’s great—flattering even—if during happy hour the bartender needs to check your ID. But on your resume, you DON’T want someone wondering if their future employee is even legal.
As depressing as this is going to sound to all you college students unless you’re in some sort of academic career, no one gives a sh*t about your grades after college. So you can skip class today and start drinking like you wanted to anyway.
Instead, fill your resume with work experience and something an employer can relate to, not an arbitrary number that could have been given out because you liked to wink at your dreamy TA. At least, that was my strategy for getting good grades.
3. Irrelevant Work Experience
…If I had a penny for every f*cking time someone told me to say “relevant”…I’d literally be Kim K. But we’re not in the Kardashian clan (just obsessively watching them) which means we have to be really good at staying *relevant*, and here’s why.
When a recruiter or hiring manager is reading your resume, you want them to be able to picture you in the role. This means leaving off your high school babysitting jobs (although I’m sure those kids were a ton of work). Keep your resume experience related to whatever job you’re applying to. If you really want to be the overachieving betch I know you are, use buzzwords from the job description online and insert them into your resume. You’ll be so much more relevant (trying not to vom, but it’s TRUE).
If this is your first job or you’re switching industries, no problem. Find times in the experience you do have (like internships, school projects) where you did work most relatable to the job you are applying for. Worst case, show that you can be a proactive leader—capable of having at least some sort of responsibility and not just keeping your Postmates app active so you can order Taco Bell.
This is the time where I tell you to go over your resume with a fine-tooth comb. Send it to your sugar daddy, your real daddy, your baby daddy…whoever, and catch all those pesky little spelling errors. No one is ever going to trust you to write an email on their behalf, let alone handle any sort of responsibility, if you have written mistakes in your resume. This is supposed to be your *good* first impression.
Believe me, this is coming from the girl who literally almost didn’t graduate college because she couldn’t pass a grammar test (true story), and somehow I was able to find tools to post this article mistake-free (have you ever heard of the internet?!), so I’m pretty sure you can figure out how to do this too.
5. A Second Page
Unless you’re a f*cking CEO, make your resume a clean single page. No one has time to read that much about you—sorry not sorry—you’re not *that* special. You literally might be the future Kanye of our generation, but your future employer doesn’t know that yet.
This means putting the most recent, impressive experience on your resume. Think of it like the thirst trap pictures you post of yourself on Instagram rather than the ones your Aunt Judy tagged of you on Facebook. Instead of focusing on just putting a sh*t ton of experience on your resume, focus on what you did in those experiences. Did you drive any sort of success in the role? Did you create something new? Are there numbers to back it up?! You’ll seem like a way more impressive betch if you include recent experience where you made an impact. Rather than a ton of random experience that doesn’t showcase your skills.
6. Your Salary Requirement
Even though you permanently imagine a rose gold pedestal underneath your feet at all times, don’t make this clear in your resume. In reality, we’re all basically begging for a job so we can afford another $25 cocktail at the trendiest spot. I have no doubt that at some point you’ll be able to demand millions, but today is not that day. Keep the salary discussions to in person and you’ll be good to go.
I can’t wait to see the big things you do with your new and improved resume. I’m pretty sure you’ll have employers literally sucking your d*ck, calling you nonstop to come interview with them. Just promise me you’ll put the name “boss betch” outside your corner office one day. Oh, and send me a personal thank you note.
Don’t forget to pre-order our THIRD book, When’s Happy Hour? now! It’s all the real career advice you won’t get from like, your guidance counselor.