When looking for work, the Web is usually the first place people go to find a job, and many fill their days blasting resumes in response to online job postings. In my experience that’s a classic mistake as you’re not looking in the hidden jobs market!
Frustrating as it may be research suggests about half of all new jobs are filled before they ever make it to the online posting stage as jobs go to those who know someone on the inside or approached the company at the right time. For those job openings that are advertised online, managers may get hundreds of applicants. But if you’re working the hidden job market, estimates suggest that you’re more likely competing with six to 10 other applicant. So Here are some top tips to make the most of the hidden jobs market.
Make a connection
Instead of waiting for a job to be posted, initiate contact with a hiring manager at a company you want to work for and create a dialogue. If you don’t know anyone at the company scan the website for employee E-mail addresses, but try to avoid the human resources department. Ask these employees to refer you to the correct department head and ask these department heads a specific question, and get precise. Find the person who makes decisions and talk to them directly they’ll know that they have hiring needs months before they post a job. When you finally do make contact with a decision maker, ask for advice and ideas. If you ask for advice, you’ll get a job faster than if you ask for a job outright. This could lead to information that will help you in your job search, for example, you might need more training or education to get a position in the field or that this particular company is growing and may be hiring soon. But for this strategy to work you must be sincere.
Cast a giant net for jobs
Someone who can vouch for you is a powerful tool in snagging a job before it’s posted. Even if you don’t personally know someone who works for the company, you can still get a referral. Another tool at your disposal is LinkedIn, for any of you who are not aware of LinkedIn it’s a social network for business professionals. You can use this to connect with people in the company you want to work for or friends of friends who work for a particular company. Connect yourself with old friends or people who went to your school. Once you connect with them ask them if you can drop your resume so they can firstly check it and secondly pass it on to their managers thus increasing the size you the net your casting to advertise and promote yourself.
Once you dust off your network, proceed carefully. Don’t make your first query about how you’re looking for a job. Engage them about a social topic for example, say that you saw their local sports team last night, and it made you think of them. After that, don’t hide the fact that you’re on the job hunt. What makes people unhappy is when you call them up and say you want a position at their company. Let them know you’re not leaning on them. You should be calling them regardless of whether you want a job at their company. You want to go for the information as information leads to jobs. That could be anything from industry gossip to leads on companies that are growing. Sometimes, your contact will tell you to apply for a job online. Say, ‘Absolutely, but who can I talk to, to learn more about the opportunity?’ but keep pursuing other avenues of access.
So there you have my 3 top tips for seeking out and fully leveraging the hidden jobs market, I hope that this advice serves you well in the future.