A lot of people know of Slack as a communication tool. It’s rapidly become one of the most popular ways to chat with colleagues. But what about using Slack for tech job seekers?
The most important thing to remember is that a Slack account gives you access to not just the forums your employers put together, but thousands of other communities, and millions of other users!
Many hiring managers are starting to prefer Slack to other more traditional platforms such as Linkedin or other job boards, especially because Slack tends to attract more tech professionals.
We’ve talked to recruiters before about using Slack to find candidates. But how can you use it, as a job seeker in the tech community?
At time of writing there are over 1000 publicly accessible communities on Slack, which is rather a lot! That number is growing every day, since anyone can make a Slack Community themed around anything they like. Luckily, you don’t have to trawl through all of them by yourself, there are a number of lists which compile them into an easily searchable format. An example is Slofile, which lists all the information you need and lets you join or send requests straight from your browser.
With so many channels, it can be hard to know what to look for. We’ve found these five communities that are great for tech applicants.
Techlondon is perfect for those looking to enter the tech start up industry. In addition to jobs, there are a lot of support channels to post in.
Not too dissimilar to Techlondon, but with a much broader focus
Focused on providing support to IT professionals
For those interested in developing for open source projects
Focused on discussion of data and analytics.
And these are just some of the more generic ones. If you have a specialty skill, (for example, UX_Hustle is aimed solely at UX Designers, while ) then there is almost certainly a Slack community aimed at it. Shop around and join a few, then make a point of introducing yourself to their admins, and to the group in general.
Check if a channel allows you to post with the intent of job searching. They may have a channel devoted to it, or you can check in with the admins if you’re not certain.
Likewise, you should start off small, and expand your scope as you need to. You’ll have better luck with looking for work in your region, especially if you don’t want to relocate too far.
Once you’ve found some communities to post in, it’s time to start crafting your posts.
Here’s some key information that you should include as standard:
With that done, you now need to make finding you as easy as possible for any recruiters whose interest is piqued by your post.
Like on Linkedin, post contact information at the top of you Bio, particularly your email address. A lot of recruiters prefer to go through email, even when using Slack, because of the stronger paper trail, and for the formality of it.
Another thing to consider is a Call to Action in your bio, something that lets anyone know at a glance that you’re looking for work, and to get in touch. Something like ‘Contact me to discuss opportunities!’ or ‘check out my portfolio here’ with a link will encourage recruiters to take a closer look.
Slack is an avenue to conversation more than anything else, don’t be afraid to be drawn into one by potential recruiters! If they’re using Slack, it’s usually because they recognise its unique style and are happy to embrace it.
Casual as Slack can appear, it is still a professional platform. You should use it accordingly! Don’t treat it like your usual social media, even if communicating with friends on it.
In the same way as you don’t apply to jobs with the email address you had at school, make sure your username is sensible. Otherwise, getting the etiquette right is a matter of measuring who you’re talking to, and tempering your words accordingly.
Many of the larger boards will have a great deal of traffic. This means it’s possible your posts will occasionally get lost in the noise. This can happen in the smaller ones too- people won’t check channels every day, so it can feel like you’re throwing things out there and not getting a response.
This can be very disheartening! But resist the urge to spam your applications over and over again. Think of how annoying this is on the other end, to constantly get notifications and see the exact same thing.
Alternatively, think of how unprofessional it would be to send off a job application through email, and then resend it to the same person over and over!
You can, and should, resend your posts in an attempt to be seen, they can get genuinely lost, but you should use your judgement as to how often. For quieter communities, once a week is a good measuring stick.
Slack is turning into a great tool to build bridges between you and recruiters. It’s still developing as a recruitment platform, so go with what feels natural and you’ll get results. Find your footing, and the advantages will pay off as you add another tool in your arsenal to help you find a job.