Sunday, May 22, 2011

Networking via the internet

Part of a proper job hunt is specifically that... a hunt. You find your prey (a position you like in a company you like; hopefully with people you like) and then you stalk it. For a while lets assume you found the right job in the right company-- that would be several pages to describe-- but they are not hiring. What to do?

Extrovert NTs with a savvy approach would network to the job. Put themselves in front of the relevant decision makers at the company and show their value... or at the very least make sure they were the first person in the minds of the decision makers when it came time to hire.

For ASD folk this present numerous challenges including the networking part. However the internet has made networking much easier. As an example I recently applied for a job at the Cheezburger Network. It would have been a great job working remotely at a company that I really liked.

Rather than posting my resume via their online application system I looked up their CTO, found his e-mail address and sent him a message saying "What would I need to have on my resume for you to hire me?" I also found him on Twitter and LinkedIn so that when he followed up I could mention relevant things in his life in the e-mail. I made on-line friends with a couple of the people who worked there too.

I did not get the job but I certainly was considered for a position that was a step up which is a minor victory. Moreover, nothing prevents me from applying again.I plan on demonstrating how much more value I have added since this last process. A case in point is that the CTO wrote an article on what he looks for in hiring people and I will certainly address that in my next query to be hired.

The lesson here is that online, Aspies & HFA can communicate professionally with relevant decision makers. Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Tumblr and yes, blogs, all offer clues as to what the person is interested in and will respond to in a message. Use it. Put it in your communication. Did the person recently injure themselves? Offer sympathy. Do they love mountain climbing? Mention that you read Into Thin Air. These things are what will hook them and draw them to the person beyond the resume.

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