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
It’s no secret that dating in this day and age is one long waking nightmare challenging. Keeping the faith can be hard when you find yourself being ghosted by yet another f*ckboy whose overconfidence is in direct proportion to his staggering mediocrity. So when you get to the point where you’re looking for outside advice, the hope is that it will be hopeful and/or helpful. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case, and we feel it’s our sworn duty here at Betches to expose the advice that is egregiously awful. Read on for the worst dating advice of 2019.
1. Asinine Astrological Assumptions
I have to start by saying that I love astrology and use my sign to justify the worst parts of my personality many of my decisions. Gotta love Scorpio season! That said, astrology, and especially sun signs, cannot be used to make generalizations about an entire population. But that didn’t stop our friends at Refinery29 from doing exactly that with a piece describing what all Tauruses are like in bed. The article claims that because Tauruses are more in touch with their sense of smell, “if you smell bad, you’re not going to get it on with a Taurus.” Wouldn’t we all agree that smelling good is a prerequisite for… all of us? The article goes on to advise the reader to moisturize, of all things, “because Tauruses might be turned off by dry or leathery skin.” I guess now I can blame the dry (see what I did there?) spell I had for the better part of 2013 on my eczema. Lastly, the reader is urged to cook “a meal…(especially while wearing lingerie).” Okay, so in order to bag a bull I need to wear perfume, moisturize, and cook dinner in my lingerie. In other words, advice I could have gotten from any remotely heterosexual male of any astrological sign. Grool.
2. To Catch A Curator
On the heels of Jennifer Lawrence’s recent marriage to Cooke Maroney, Elle is now advising its readers to date Curators. If you’re wondering WTF that means, a Curator is described as “he kind of guy you can discuss post-humanism with over pizza, who comments on the decor while ordering you a cab but letting you split the bill.” Hot. Personally, this just sounds like a cheaper and slightly more pretentious version of every tool I’ve ever dated. To make matters worse, their “sensitivity” does not save them from their inevitable fate as trash: “A Curator may still ghost you, but it’s probably because he’s doing something legitimately interesting with his time, like scouting in the foothills of the Himalayas.” So it’s okay for a guy to bail on you in the name of “art”? GTFO.
3. Moonlight As Your Crush’s Personal Assistant
When you do come across someone you don’t immediately hate on sight like, it may be difficult to summon the courage to let them know. I don’t profess to be a professional pickup artist, but I’m pretty sure that the following advice from Glamour on how to tell your crush you like them might leave the person on the receiving end wondering if you’re vying for a spot on their payroll:
“5. Notice when their glass is empty, and always offer to fill it up or get them another.
- Offer to hold their purse/bag/coat/cup.
- Remember what their drink is without having to ask. Order it for them.
- Offer to drive them to the airport.
- Assume they want coffee and bring them one. Learn how they take it first.”
Don’t get me wrong. Thoughtfulness is next to godliness in my book, but you should not have to go out of your way to do someone’s chores to get them to like you. I legitimately had to check the date this article was published. Surely, the 1950s? Nope, 2019.
4. Link Up On LinkedIn
Cosmo is known for some pretty ridiculous sex and dating advice, and we’ve certainly covered them here before, but this latest nugget of dating wisdom deserves mention. Let’s start with the title: “LinkedIn Is The Best Platform To Slide Back Into Your Ex’s DMs.” As a threshold matter, it’s rarely advisable to reconnect with an ex. If it didn’t work out the first dozen times, attempting to reconnect, regardless of the platform, starts to look like the living embodiment of the definition of insanity. It’s also really transparent. Unless you work in the same industry as your ex and could credibly network with them for a job opportunity, testing the waters with a LinkedIn message when you could just as easily text them with the number you already have is hardly subtle, and frankly, kind of bizarre. If you’re using LinkedIn because, like the author of the article, “you’re probably blocked on everything else,” perhaps you ought to take some time to work on yourself instead of trolling for men on a professional networking platform. Just a thought.
5. Settle Into Settling
If you are lucky enough to find someone you’re serious about, you may have doubts about whether he or she is “the one” and what it means to settle. Earlier this year, Refinery29 published a piece that I hoped would upend the false notion that comfort and security equal “settling” and that one must pursue a relationship that thrives on “butterflies” and insecurity. Instead, the article seems to promote settling for a connection completely devoid of any spark in order to avoid being alone: “I didn’t settle for the first person that came along, but I am so glad that in my 30s I’m not out there looking for someone, going on dates with strangers, and so on.” While your perfect mate may not end up being who you thought they’d be, a baseline level of connection should not be compromised out of fear. A relationship will never be exciting all of the time, but it should always be fulfilling. If the premise of the article is to be believed, we can all give up this dating game altogether and bring blowup dolls with us to dinner. So inspiring!
Advice, however well-intentioned, is usually subjective and not universally applicable. As we’ve seen today, it can sometimes be downright dumb. Do what works for and feels right to you and leave the rest where you found it. Any other gems I missed? Please sound off in the comments!
Images: Hian Oliveira / Unsplash; Giphy (5)
If there’s one thing I LITERALLY didn’t want to have to deal with in 2019, it was another social media app. Between Instagram, IG stories, Snapchat, the list goes on, my day feels like it consists of eating, sleeping, and posting (lol, what is life). Oh, and The Bachelor. But with that whole New Year’s resolution thing, so many people vow to get ahead in their career—myself included. Except…that means updating your LinkedIn profile. And even though I’ve finally gotten that curated feed thing down on IG (thank you, VSCO), LinkedIn is another story.
Even though there are no filters that clear my zits, or Instagram models selling me ads on LinkedIn, the site does have a few benefits. For instance, it’s a fantastic way to get connected to people at other companies, find out about new jobs, and network. I’m not going to sit here and say LinkedIn is the only way you are going to get your new job, but I will say that I think recruiters and hiring managers will check you out there. You should absolutely update your LinkedIn if you are job hunting, and even if you aren’t—who knows, maybe someone will reach out to you with a new opportunity. If you want to create a great LinkedIn profile (sans VSCO filters), see the tips below. And go get you that corner office, boss betch!
1. Have A Professional Profile Photo
Your LinkedIn profile photo is actually the first thing someone can see when they search you professionally. So let’s just say you should probably avoid having that picture with you in scantily clad clothing, taking any sort of shots, or with those beloved Snapchat dog ears. With how freaking amazing iPhone cameras are nowadays, you can easily get your picture taken by your bestie with a nice portrait mode background. You want to ooze responsibility, whether or not this is actually true to your personality.
2. Take Off Old Experience
Like your resume, you want to avoid having super old experience on your LinkedIn. Look, your mom will be forever proud that you won the 8th grade spelling bee, but some recruiter only needs to know about the stuff you accomplished since you were legal. I will say, unlike your resume, LinkedIn is a great place to put your sorority, any charities you volunteered with, and other extracurriculars. Before I meet someone new professionally, I always look at their LinkedIn because it’s so easy to find little things we have in common.
3. Make Yourself Searchable
IMO, one of the BEST parts of LinkedIn is that people can find you. Easily! It’s an incredible way to get connected with people in your industry, or even people not in your industry. I’ve honestly had so many scenarios in which I’ve simply cold-emailed someone via LinkedIn and voilà! I’ve gotten in touch. To make yourself searchable on LinkedIn, try and use searchable words in the “headline” of your bio. Even if your job title is super specific, keep it easy to find with common words that people may search. And don’t forget to update your city, because recruiters will always look for new hires in the city they are already living.
4. Get Recommendations From Your Colleagues
In the last few years, LinkedIn has added features to get recommendations from colleagues and have others rate your skills. I would highly recommend getting a few co-workers to write you recommendations, simply because it adds validity to the skills listed on your profile. Don’t feel awkward about asking someone to do this for you. If you do good work for them, let them know you want to have that stamp on your resume forever!
5. Leave Out Any Personal Sh*t
Update: LinkedIn isn’t the platform to post your Tinder date stories, or to share that you’re hungover AF from this week’s trivia night. Keep your personal drama out of LinkedIn and keep it solely professional. This might mean avoiding posting on your newsfeed, or not liking articles irrelevant to your career path because allllllll that stuff can be seen by your potential future employer.
And there you have it. Even though you literally may have not kept any of your New Year’s resolutions so far (ok, maybe that’s just me…), you can be one step closer to your boss babe self. Do you have a LinkedIn profile? Comment below!
Images: Kyle Loftus / Unsplash; Giphy (2)
A friend recently brought to my attention that the popular job-seeking social media platform LinkedIn “might be creepy.” “Why do you say that?” I asked her, genuinely curious, because as a creative, the only messages I receive on that site are from dudes telling me their wives love my Bachelor recaps and LinkedIn job recruiters letting me know that my degree in creative writing has qualified me for a job opening in janitorial services. While the latter makes me want to douse myself in lighter fluid and set myself on fire, and the former is a little weird but mostly flattering (fun fact: I need to be constantly praised, so, like, keep it up men), I wouldn’t call either of those interactions “creepy.” But it did get me thinking, is LinkedIn creepy? Was I missing something here? Are men, having been cancelled from every other app, now trying to make LinkedIn their final frontier? I’ve literally investigated claims for less. So, buckle up, betches, because I’m about to call men out on all their bullsh*t. Again.
As I mentioned, my friend, let’s called her “Meg,” originally brought this whole LinkedIn creepy scandal to my attention. Meg told me she was constantly being harassed by older men who would slide into her DMs ON A PROFESSIONAL JOB-SEEKING SITE to tell her she’s pretty and ask her on dates. My immediate follow-up question was did she accidentally tap into her Hinge messages and not her LinkedIn messages? I just couldn’t imagine a world where business betches like myself were having to virtually fend off men.
MEG: LinkedIn is cancelled because men are trash.
ME TO THE MEN OF LINKEDIN:
After I spoke with Meg, I checked my recent requested connections. ALL of them were from men. The majority of them looked like they could be my dad’s age or older, and almost none of them were in the same field as me or had any mutual connections with me. Again, it was strange, definitely suspect, but not outright damning.
So I started asking other women in my life about their experiences with LinkedIn. Women I worked with, women I’d lived with in New York City, women I’d gone to college with in North Carolina. Every single one of them could list an uncomfortable encounter. One friend told me she gets DMs at least once a week from strange men asking for her number or sending her messages in all emojis, which is fine if this is Instagram and you’ve posted a fire bikini selfie, but not on a goddamn job site!
I took to Google and found out that last year Buzzfeed published an entire article about women taking to Twitter to ask men to please stop treating LinkedIn like their own personal dating site. Welcome to 2018, ladies, where no place is safe anymore, especially not the workforce! God, I wish I was kidding.
If you have working eyes and ears then you know that over the last two years, the ladies of the #MeToo movement have been out here doing the lord’s work and exposing (pun intended) every Tom, Dick, and Harry for being the disgusting scumbags they really are. They shed light on an issue which every woman with a pulse was already aware of: if you show up to work with breasts, then you’re going to get hit on/be treated differently/have to fight off unwarranted touches/generally be made uncomfortable by men at some point in your career. But it’s chill because that’s professionalism, ladies, look it up!!
Obviously, these are not new issues. For as long as there have been women in the workforce, there has been sexism and sexual harassment, there has been women sacrificing their dignity and, in some instances, their safety for the sake of their careers. And GODDAMNIT it’s got to stop. Women should be able to online shop on their phones, discreetly and under the table, during another useless department meeting without their bosses saying something inappropriate about their outfits. Women should be able to job search and network and see if their ex’s new girlfriend has a better salary than them without being f*cking romantically propositioned in the process. This is 2018, for god’s sake! Men, do better.
So, in conclusion, men are still trash and apparently so is your favorite networking site. Stay vigilant, ladies.
For more important career advice, pre-order our third book, When’s Happy Hour? here!
IMAGES: Giphy (2); @rawpixel /Unsplash (1)