Recently, I met up with an ex-colleague who is currently looking for a job. With a short career in the financial services, he expressed the frustrations of job-seeking in a tough employment market. Unfortunately for him, that's the current situation facing many PMETs in Singapore.
Over the past weeks, minister after minister have stepped out to exhort professionals to upgrade themselves for the digital economy. The Skillsfuture programme has been actively reaching out to professionals, offering subsidised training schemes to keep them relevant. But all these comes at with a fundamental requirement - the employee has to be willing to keep up.
But training is a long-term commitment, and employees currently in the middle of their job hunt are facing challenges in getting their resume to stand out. Having dabbled in the art of guerrilla marketing, I've brainstormed some unconventional ideas for my friend to get a leg up.
Run a Facebook ad
Job seekers need to get their resume to the right person in the organisation, but that seldom happens. The job application might fall to a clerk or an automated system that scans for keywords as an initial selection criteria, or the resume is just lost among the thousands of submissions for a single position.
What if the job seeker went to find the right person directly, using the vast database of profiles that is Facebook? (LinkedIn works too, but it's already crowded with job requests today)
Creating an ad is simple enough:
Who says flyers are only for real estate agents? Target the occupants in a particular geographic location if it makes sense! For example, these guys who went straight to DBS CEO Piyush for a pitch. Sure it may not be a job offer, but CEOs do stop and listen if it's sufficiently engaging.
Senior management folks are likely to stay in landed estates near Bukit Timah, Thomson and Kembangan, so drop resumes there! Just make sure to sure to use quality paper and add in a cover letter.
Be a thought leader. Or at least someone that someone else knows about.
Okay, so this may take a bit more time, but by participating actively in related physical meetups and conferences, Facebook and LinkedIn groups, Quora, Medium, Thought Catalog, Github / Stackoverflow (for developers) and other online communities, you gain street cred. Granted this blog is not exactly the most thought-inspiring site out there, every little bit counts. In time, your website and articles will replace your resume as your professional marketing channel.
These ideas may seem a bit odd and quite troublesome, compared to the spray-and-pray approach in sending out resumes. In the business of guerrilla advertising, it's always the scrappy startups that beat the well-funded MNCs because of their unconventional approach.
For the job seeker with no lack of job offers, just use what works already. But for the woefully unemployed wondering what is going wrong, consider a change in strategy. Oh, and save on giving away a part of your salary to a career counselor or manpower agency. This is free advice!
About this blog
Mostly startup and tech stuff. An occasional rant or two. Travel-related articles are published on my other blog.