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Guerrilla Job Search Tactics

By David Perry

If you're looking for a job, you need to stand out from the crowd to get noticed -- and hired -- by employers.

Here are three proven ways to do just that.

Best part: They cost $0. The only investment you'll make is your time!

Guerrilla Job Search Tactic #1: Do a Competitive Analysis

You can make a huge impact on employers by doing a competitive analysis on one of your targeted company's products and sending that analysis to them by US Priority Mail.

People assume that all companies keep up to date on their competitors, but this is rarely the case. Most companies don't have the budget or the ability to really keep on top of innovations and best practices, so your piece will likely be very well received!

Tips to make this work:

  • Focus on companies that are direct competitors with those you want to work for, not your target company. Potential employers want to know how to beat the competition more than they want to be told what mistakes they're making (which is Human Nature 101, by the way).
  • Use graphs and charts wherever possible -- people would rather look at pictures than read (Human Nature 102).
  • Make your analysis only as long as it needs to be.
  • Ask for an opportunity to discuss your findings with the hiring manager if they're interested … and they should be!
  • As a teaser, offer to share your primary research with managers -- IF they meet with you.
  • Guerrilla Bonus: Try Google's advanced search function to look for PowerPoint presentations done by the competition. I know of several cases where companies have put very sensitive information online in PowerPoint that they thought wouldn't get found by search engines. Wrong!
  • Double Secret Bonus: Search for competitors' company names and words like "complaint" or "scam" to uncover potential problems you can help your target employer exploit.

Guerrilla Job Search Tactic #2: Send Articles

Mailing or emailing an article to a hiring manager with a simple note like: "I thought you might be interested in this..." is a great door opener. The trick is to find something that is truly helpful to them in their job.

You can uncover potential needs by doing a search through Google for position papers they may have presented or to see what competitors are announcing by way of new products. Then, simply let them know what you've found. I know several people who have landed great jobs by doing this.

Tips to make this work:

  • Articles are easy to find by using search engines like Google or Yahoo.
  • All major magazines usually have electronic editions you can search through, which is fine. But …
  • Printed copies work best because few people bother to do this anymore! Also, a paper copy will stay longer on a manager's desk and it may even be passed on to other staff members who could be hiring, too.
  • Do this once every three weeks at most. Don't bombard people unless they ask for more.
  • Make sure to send a personal note even if you send an e-mail clipping. After your, "I thought you might be interested in this..." opening, remind managers what job you're looking for and how you could benefit their company.
  • Use Google Alerts to keep you up-to-date on subject areas of interest to your targeted employers --

Guerrilla Job Search Tactic #3: Write a White Paper on a Hot Topic

Don't be intimidated by the term, "white paper." It's just a fancy name for a report.

Writing one is as easy as:

  1. reading up on a hot topic in your industry;
  2. summarizing the opinions of 3-5 industry pundits and
  3. offering your own take on the subject, in a 5-10 page summary of the leading ideas.

It can be very simple and effective to call some of the more quotable people you discovered during your research, and interview them for your own piece. Ask them for feedback before you publish. They may even forward your material to people they know!

Tips to make this work:

  • Be sure to focus on something important to your target employers.
  • Mail it to employers you want to work for.
  • Make it available electronically for e-zines, which can give you a massive audience online. Example: submit your white paper to
  • Send it to business publications as a possible article.
  • Post it on your blog, breaking it down into nuggets and spreading it out over 5-15 days. Don't have a blog? Start one today for free at
  • Send it to trade publications relevant to industries in your job search.
  • Allow other publishers and editors to re-use your white paper as long as they include your byline, email address and blog URL (if you have one).

What do these three tactics have in common?

Instead of sticking out your hand and asking for a job, like the hordes of uncreative, unsuccessful job seekers, you'll be giving first to employers -- giving them knowledge and news they can use to make their businesses run better.

That's exactly why you'll be hired for any job, by the way -- to make a company run better.

By using today's three tactics, you can prove you're the one to hire by proving you can help employers first, before you ask for the chance to work for them.

Call this "employment jujitsu" … call it Guerrilla Marketing … whatever you call it, it works. Try it and prove it for yourself!

Until next time, here's to your success, Guerrilla!

About this author...

Job-Hunt's Guerrilla Job Search Expert David Perry is a recruiter, co-author of the book "Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters" and managing partner of Perry-Martel International. Find David on LinkedIn.

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