We’re all familiar with crowdsourcing.
Somebody asks the hive mind for its opinion on social media. A company seeks feedback through a pop-up survey on their landing page.
“Crowdsourcing involves obtaining work, information, or opinions from a large group of people who submit their data via the Internet, social media, and smartphone apps,” said Investopedia.
Did you know that crowdsourcing can also help you in your job search?
During the pandemic, 50 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits, meaning they either quit or were laid off. Jack Kelly, a Senior Contributor for Forbes, suggests that the significant number of people looking for work has signaled another shift: sharing your unemployed status openly.
Whereas there used to be a stigma against being between jobs, now, more job hunters are open to sharing their search – and asking for help.
“With this in mind, there’s no longer a need to embark upon your job search alone. Think of it as a group effort and leverage all of your resources. It’s time to crowdsource your job search,” said Kelly.
If you want to crowdsource your job search, what steps do you need to take? Here are a few ideas.
Reach out to the network you already have – even if you don’t think they’ll have any ideas for you.
Crowdsourcing is most meaningful when it can provide ideas you never knew you were missing. So, when you start on this crowdsourcing journey, ensure you’re sharing your quest for a new role as widely as possible.
This means envisioning your crowdsourced network broadly, including your friends from college and graduate school, members of organizations you belong to, and family members. If they don’t know of anything, ask them to reach out to their networks in turn.
Expand your network.
While a broad network is important, connecting with others in your field is also useful. They will likely know about specialized opportunities and trends that others in your wider network won’t.
What if you’re keeping quiet about your job hunt to your current co-workers? There are plenty of ways to network virtually. Consider joining an online meetup for workers in your field. Then, you can build your crowdsourcing contacts.
What’s more, if you’re looking for a remote job or a job in another city, this is a great way to expand the reach of information and contacts you might receive in your crowdsourcing.
Create materials for your network to read and share with others.
Your extended network may not know your career trajectory or goals. So, it’s important to share who you are and what you’re looking for with your contacts so they can share their information with their own networks.
To start, be sure to update your LinkedIn profile. Read Ivy Exec’s guide on “What to Put As A LinkedIn Title And Headline If Unemployed?” to make your profile as appealing as possible. Also, add hashtags like #opentowork or #openopportunities to expand your crowdsourcing potential to anyone on LinkedIn. You never know who might come out of the woodwork to share an opportunity with you.
You can also make a video where you share a bit about yourself, your career, and what you’re seeking in your next role. If someone in your extended network doesn’t know you personally, a video can make them feel more connected to you.
Have a specific intention in mind.
If you’re just posting to social media without a clear goal, you’re not crowdsourcing effectively. You need to ask a question or assign a task to your network to receive opinions and advice,
“Ask, ‘please forward my video to three people who would be interested.’ Or ‘Could you tell me who is the hiring manager for me in X, Y, and Z companies.’ The world operates on To-Do lists, and an ‘ask’ can energize your network into action,” said career coach Sharadon Smith.
Take advice from your “crowd” – and share what you’ve learned.
When your network offers you useful advice, be sure to take it – and let them know that you did. For instance, if someone suggests a dynamic way to revise your resume, you could post the tip to your social media, attributing the advice to the person who gave it.
If you let your network know that you’re using – and appreciating – the information they give you, they will be even more willing to help you move forward.
Consider crowdsourced recruitment to get your foot in the door at a company.
Candidates are turning to crowdsourcing in their job search, but so are companies. Crowdsourced recruitment is another viable way for you to discover new opportunities.
“For tough-to-find design, development, and data science skills, companies can look to the crowd and source a variety of on-demand talent. Through challenge-based crowdsourcing competitions, like those at topcoder, companies can receive multiple outcomes for a project—and choose the best of the best—instead of relying on a single idea,” explained Cornerstone.
If you like project-by-project work, this could be useful for you, at least until you find something more permanent. If you’re successful in crowdsourced competitions, too, your reputation will precede you at the organization.
How to Crowdsource Your Job Search
Crowdsourcing is important for collecting information and opinions from a wider cross-section of individuals. By engaging with your wider network, you can use crowdsourcing to discover new opportunities, connect with hiring managers, or even discover a job-hunting tactic you hadn’t considered before.
There’s no shame in sharing your unemployment status. With so many in the same boat, you could help someone who is also crowdsourcing their job search.
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