I’m a stalker. #AintNoShameinMyGame
Who do I stalk?
Potential clients. Potential business partners. People who make me totally fangirl (Gary Vaynerchuk and Robin Sharma, I’m lookin’ at you).
Why do I stalk?
Because I want to ensure I’m as well-informed as possible about the people I want to hire or partner with me. Not only that, but I want to make it clear that I care about them as people. And knowing about them – their success, challenges, problems, dreams – is the best way I know how.
Stalking doesn’t just help me run my business, it can help you, a lot, in your quest for your dream gig. Researching companies prior to hitting ‘send’ on your application or heading in for an interview is absolutely key and the best way to show off your enthusiasm for the job, and how you’ll be a great fit for the company.
So here are my 6 go to stalking tools that you can add to your own job search arsenal:
LinkedIn might seem like a no-brainer, but it deserves mentioning because you might not be using this to your full advantage.
Obviously you can check out the company page, to get some basic info and see what type of content they like to share. You can take this to the next level and stalk some of their current employees.
But even better, get the REAL inside scoop on the company by connecting with these employees by sending a really personalized LinkedIn connection request. And if you’re really daring, see if you can book some informational interviews with your new contacts.
[Not sure how to make that big, bold, ask? Check out #4 in 5 Ways to Warm Up for a Sizzling September Job Search]
Facebook & Instagram
Facebook and Instagram are where companies show off their ‘softer side’. It’s where you can get a quick visual idea of the corporate culture because this is where they show all the fun things: events, community outreach, celebrations.
Take note of what stands out as unique and at the heart of what the company is all about. Pay particular attention to how they give back to the community. You will always impress an interviewer if you talk about how much you appreciate the company’s commitment to certain charitable/environmental/social services/educational/etc. initiatives.
Much like Facebook and Instagram, companies often leverage the power of Twitter to engage with the community and their customers. If you want to highlight how client-centric you are, do a little digging on Twitter.
Customers often complain via Twitter because it can put a company on immediate public blast. It’s high-impact. And if a company truly is dedicated to their customers, they will engage with any tweet that they are mentioned in. Find these instances, and take some notes about how well they handled less-than-savory tweets. Use this info to express how much you’d like to contribute to this stellar reputation.
And if they do a really shitty job of engaging with their customers on Twitter. Or if ghosting seems to be their MO, you’ve still got some useful info that you can bring up in your application or interview. Highlight your expertise and vested interest, and come up with some actionable ideas about how you can help them fix their social.
If you want to impress the pants off of potential employers, rather than just lurking in the shadows of Twitter, engage directly with the company and its managers’ Twitter accounts.
Respond to their tweets, retweet them, offer your thoughts on what they share, proactively search out their content and tweet it yourself (remembering to mention their accounts).
When I wanted to pitch certain large publications, I’d stalk the shit out of the editors and retweet, engage with, and share their content. And as you can see from my Media page, it worked.
Glassdoor + CareerBliss
Ah, the Yelp and Tripadvisor for employees. These two sites can offer a lot of insight. From average salaries, to reviews from current and past employees, and thoughts from actual interviewees, you can glean a lot here.
But of course, take some of the reviews with a grain of salt. Reviewers are anonymous, which allows them to go off the rails if they so choose. Pluck out the useful information: Questions that were asked during interviews. Actual constructive suggestions to management. Expected salaries.
The info you grab from Glassdoor and CareerBliss likely won’t be useful enough to bring up in your application or interview, but keep it in the vault and add it to your overall understanding of the company.
So go ahead. Get your stalk on, and creep your way closer to a great-fitting gig!