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This Is How To Use Slack To Find A Job

A recruiter shares how your workplace messaging tool can help you land your next job.

This Is How To Use Slack To Find A Job
[Photo: Flickr user Scott Schiller]

Chances are if Slack is part of your office, it has become the main way that you communicate with coworkers. Now it might also be the way you find your next job.

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Just like meetups, Slack has over 400 public communities, centered around topics from productivity to JavaScript to cryptocurrencies. In recent years, these communities have become a way for recruiters to source candidates, particularly in the tech world.

However, it seems like job seekers have yet to catch on. Angela Bortolussi, partner and recruiting manager at Recruiting Social, first discovered the power of Slack as a candidate outreach tool in 2015. Bortolussi’s clients are mostly in the technology, gaming, and digital advertising space. Many of the candidates that she was recruiting for weren’t very active on LinkedIn, so she started looking for creative ways to reach them.

Enter public Slack communities. These are groups that anyone can join with the approval of the group’s administrator. These communities aren’t searchable through Slack, but the blog Standuply presents a comprehensive list as well as a link to join those communities. For those new to job hunting through Slack, Bortolussi has the following advice.

Start Local

For newcomers to Slack public communities, it can be intimidating to navigate through the different groups and figure out where to start. That’s why Bortolussi recommends starting with groups that are based on your local area or region, particularly if you prefer to stay put when starting your new job. This is assuming, of course, that you have a basic understanding of how Slack works. If you don’t, Bortolussi suggests you take the time to wrap your head around the platform first.

Once you’re familiar with Slack, see if there are any groups in your area related to your industry. “If you’re in Canada and you want to look at startups, start from there, and then build up your scope of topics that interest you,” Bortolussi suggests. 

“If you want to understand what the group is about, I always say, feel free to reach out to the administrator and ask how this group can benefit you.” Because these groups tend to be clustered around topics that its members are passionate about, administrators are usually more than happy to answer questions from prospective newcomers. 

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Be As Specific As Possible

Once you join a group, Bortolussi recommends that you take the time to introduce yourself to the administrator, as well as the group. If you’re not an active job seeker and you just want to be the first to hear about an opening, then you can just make sure to check in regularly and participate in conversations. But if you’re actively looking for a job, Bortolussi suggests introducing yourself and announcing that you’re in the market for a position. The more specific your preferences, the better.

She explains, “Slack became a great tool in my toolbox because I can use it as an avenue to have a conversation.” But it’s difficult for recruiters to understand if a candidate might be a great fit for their client if the candidate is vague and generic about what they’re looking for. For example, say you’re a software engineer who works with JavaScript. When you’re looking for a job, Bortolussi wants to know, is your job search geographically concentrated in one area? Would you prefer remote work? Would you be willing to move? 


Related: How To Stay Motivated At Work When You’re Job Hunting


Make It Easy For Recruiters To Find You

It’s important to note that while Slack may be a great place to spot opportunities, it’s up to you to follow up once you see an opportunity, and it’s on you as a job seeker to make yourself visible and easy to find for recruiters. She recommends putting your email address on your bio, and include a call to action if you’re actively looking for a job. “Just getting your profile is really important as a job candidate for sure,” Bortolussi says. But it’s also about being visible, to both members and recruiters in the Slack channel. 

Employ Basic Etiquette

When you’re communicating on Slack, it can often be tempting to resort to casual lingo and abandon any formal or business etiquette. But keep in mind that as a job seeker, this is the first impression you’re giving recruiters or hiring managers wanting to fill open positions.


Related: Everything You Are Afraid To Ask About Slack Etiquette 

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“Be cautious of your username,” says Bortolussi. It’s fine to have a little fun, but you don’t want to appear unprofessional. The loud noise of Slack also makes it tempting to post your message multiple times in order to get heard, but spamming is a major no-no.

Bortolussi says that figuring out best practices is a matter of trial and error, and it can take some time to find your footing. But once you get the hang of it, there are a lot of advantages. “What’s nice is that a lot of job seekers can directly go to recruiters. That’s always the struggle with job candidates: They apply for the job, and they don’t get a response.” Slack facilitates more direct conversations between job seekers and recruiters. “It’s building that bridge between two parties.”

About the author

Anisa is the Editorial Assistant for Fast Company's Leadership section. She covers everything from personal development, entrepreneurship and the future of work.

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