If you continue to look in the same places that everyone else is looking, you will get the same results. It gets crowded in the online job search market. You may think this is the newest and the best way to look for a job, but it isn’t. The best way is the hard way. You have to look in the hidden job market, be innovative, and prove you can do the job.
What is the hidden job market?
In an article on Job-hunt.org entitled, “Penetrating the hidden job market,” Recruiter Jeff Lipschultz says
The reality is, no matter what economy, there are always many jobs that are not broadcast to the public (some estimate that at least half of all hiring is within the hidden job market).
How do I leverage the hidden job market?
At least half of all hiring? That’s incredible! Jeff goes on to say that companies may be conducting a confidentiality search (they need to replace a current worker and don’t want to broadcast the opening.) You can learn about this kind of position if you have the right attributes (hint: LinkedIn) as a passive candidate. In addition to LinkedIn, if one of your network contacts knows of the opening and that you match the needs for the role, then that contact may recommend you for the position. Often people who know you don’t know your specific talents so it is important for you to let them know through connecting with them on LinkedIn and potentially asking them to be a reference.
Hidden jobs can be found through watching the newspaper for companies who are expanding or coming to your target area. Career Cloud has a handy app for you: Hidden Jobs App. The app description states: “Described as ‘radar for jobs’ our site and mobile app tracks company hiring announcements from newspapers, online media and company press releases.”
I call this using the back door in your job search. What is the back door? It is the opposite of the way most people job search. Most people look for posted positions. Consider informational interviews with people who are in the department (preferably in management) you want to target. Be brave. Make those phone calls. Job seekers often play shy. The “NO” is scary, but it is only a no. If you make yourself do the hard things to set up informational interviews or call your network, you may find roles you would never have known existed.
Many of my clients have also found that consulting or contracting work can lead to a full-time position. Don’t discount the many fields that use contract employees. Again networking is a good way to find out about these opportunities. If you are up to speed through your connections with new initiatives a company is launching, you may be able to offer the leadership and help they need to get the initiative off the ground and that may lead to a permanent role.
What will make me a better job seeker?
I counsel my clients to be innovative and let people know what they are looking for in their search. If employed, you have to be discreet but even with that warning, you should have network connections that you trust who can help you move forward. If you are not employed, you need to seriously let people know. I always emphasize LinkedIn because never in job search history have jobseekers been able to position themselves for the type of work they want. Your LinkedIn profile needs to be complete — that means add information that showcases those resume stories.
Whatever method you decide to use, your results will improve if you go away from the point and click method that seems to characterize most people’s job search. All of the above suggestions assume you are starting with a value-packed resume, a fully optimized LinkedIn, and skills in talking points. Make sure you have all of these ready before you venture out.
I help job seekers transform their resumes and job search strategies in interactive, solution-driven strategic planning sessions. To see how I can help you, call me (Julie Walraven) at 715-564-5263.
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