Getting a Product Manager job at a FAANG company: It’s the first thing most of our members ask when they decide to work with us. These leading tech companies only accept the best talent, and it takes more than a solid resume and a cover letter even to get a chance of interviewing there. At some point, you will need a personal connection with a recruiter working there to be considered for an interview. In today’s post, we will be giving you a step-by-step guide to network with FAANG product management recruiters properly.
Before we begin our discussion, however, we want you to know that this is not a quick shortcut to an interview at a FAANG company. It will take time and effort, but it will be worth it once you know that your work leads to success.
Who Should You Network With?
Many first-time Product Managers consider FAANG companies their next step. In their first PM role, they gain valuable product management experience and have some time to network with recruiters.
The first thing to note is that you should be networking with FAANG Recruiters and not with FAANG Product Managers. This is because product management recruiters are the ones that know which positions are hiring and which roles can wait.
Despite the apparent abundance of job postings in the market, there is only a finite number of roles that hire. As with many things in life, you can use the Pareto Principle to assume that only 20% of the roles are urgent to hire.
Why FAANG Product Management Recruiters?
The only person who knows which roles are urgent is the Product Manager Recruiter. They have a list of roles that are urgent and not urgent. If you applied for a position and never heard back from them (or heard from them five months after), the chances are that the opening wasn’t urgent.
To get this kind of information, you need to be friends with the Product Manager Recruiters. Continually asking them if a particular opening is urgent or not will not get you anywhere. You need to build a relationship with them so that when there is an opening that fits your background, they will think about you and let you know about it.
Networking with FAANG Recruiters will get you to the first round and even to the second round of the Product Manager interview while networking with FAANG Product Managers will give you leverage in the further rounds.
Recruiters will give you vital information that you need to be successful during the application and interviewing process — so never underestimate this relationship.
How to Network with Product Manager Recruiters: Step 1
The first step to networking success is to make a FAANG ‘Tier 1 companies’ spreadsheet. You need an organized contacts list to ensure that you are connected with a sufficient number of Product Manager Recruiters. The first thing you should do is to divide the companies into different tiers.
Examples of Tier 1 companies include FAANG as well as Twitter and Airbnb. Examples of Tier 2 companies include Square and Uber. Tier 3 companies are exciting startups that you believe have the potential of becoming a tech giant. Below is an example of how your spreadsheet should be formatted: you can replicate it using this template.
You might be asking how many Product Manager Recruiters you should have on this spreadsheet. We recommend having up to 500 recruiters for Tier 1 companies.
You can easily find 50 Recruiters working for FAANG companies, while the number might be a little less with lower Tier companies. For Tier 2 and Tier 3 companies, you should be aiming for 1000 contacts per tier.
You might also be wondering why we asked you to add Tier 2 and Tier 3 companies. The reason is this: After a couple of years, you will see a Recruiter change their company as well. If they are in a Tier 2 company now, the chances are that they will be working for a FAANG company in their next role.
Now that you have your list ready let’s get to the next stage.
Networking with Recruiters Step 2: Be Their Biggest Fan
For the second phase of this project, we ask you to find the links to these people’s professional social media accounts. You should be following the content they publish, meetings they organize, and most importantly, the announcements they make.
You should also engage in liking, commenting, and subscribing to their social media. This way, they know that their content is available to your colleagues as well. Engaging with the Recruiters’ posts will show them that you believe in what they share, and it will give them the motivation to help you in return.
Step 3: Help Them Out
In general, Recruiters make hiring announcements to look for the talent they need, and this is your time to shine! (Note that these job postings may not necessarily be for Product Managers.) If you know anyone with the qualifications they are looking for and can refer that person to the Recruiters, they will be more inclined to help you as you helped them.
This is the principle of reciprocity, and it states that helping people will influence them to help you.
Now that you have made somewhat of a relationship with the Recruiter, they will have you on their mind when there is an opening for a PM role. Note that it’s essential for you to avoid sending your resume to the Recruiters if they are not searching for a Product Manager. This is a huge turnoff for them.
How to Network with Limited Time
Given that you have 500+ recruiters in your network now, you might be struggling to find the time and energy to stay actively connected to these people. If you have the resources (and this is a pretty cheap option), you can always delegate it to a Virtual Assistant. You can easily find one on a freelancer site such as Fiverr or Upwork.
As you can tell from the required effort, this project is all about building relationships. It requires patience and persistence. You should give it at least six months, if not a year, to see the fruits of your labor.
If you need a job tomorrow or next month, this is not the strategy you should be pursuing. You should be focusing on applying and interviewing at scale!
This project aims to have the product management Recruiter reach out to you once there is a suitable PM position open. And this only happens as a result of a good relationship. This is a common approach in business development, and people working in sales, consulting, and any other field follow these principles to build solid professional relationships.
If you have questions or need more help, why not schedule a free career coaching session with us? Our in-house team has first-hand experience with product management recruiters, and we’d love to hear from you.