I recently had a conversation with a client who was exploring new avenues to advance his job search. “Should I stick to recruiters? Is an agency my best choice? Should I make the investment and hire a company who can handle everything for me?” – were among the questions he asked me.
After talking with him and offering strategic advice, I really got to thinking about this “hidden” job market. Is it really hidden from the masses and only available to a select few? If it’s really hidden, come they know where it is – but that’s just the facetious side of me peeking out:)
Well, guess what? I have access to the hidden job market and so do you!
Okay, so before you start bowing down to me, it’s as simple as this – when you employ a proactive NOT a reactive job search strategy, it means going after unadvertised opportunities long before they become posted job listings. How do you access or create those opportunities? It’s easier than you think:
- Research and identify at least 10 to 20 companies that normally hire professionals with your background and approach the senior manager with a broadcast or networking letter to solicit an informational interview.
- Do a regional or local search through Indeed.com to see which companies are actively hiring and explore whether any of them could benefit from your qualifications, experience and expertise.
- Develop a job proposal demonstrating how you can add value to the company’s operations, bottom-line performance, and competitive advantage. Show them what they would miss out if they did NOT hire you.
- Maximize online social networks like LinkedIn to make warm contact with strong leads who may be connected to your former colleagues, classmates, friends, family – you get the idea. Somebody always knows somebody who knows somebody…try to get a referral to inside contacts at companies on your target list.
- Start attending regular networking/industry events and conferences to make face time with key players who can provide strategic advice or give you referrals.
Yes, these strategies really work – one of my best friends got a new position within two months after sending in resumes directly to companies. She missed the application deadline for her top choice company and still landed an interview and secured an offer with them.
An effective job search strategy takes close to 40 hours a week in activities. Yes, you read it correctly…it takes work, creativity, and sheer commitment to get positive results from a job search.
What can you try today?