Tips to Access the Hidden Job Market
Did you know that as many as 80% of all available jobs are never advertised?
That staggering number is one of the biggest obstacles that job seekers face
when searching for employment. Understanding how to access this hidden job market
can give you an advantage over your competition.
Here are 5 tips to get you started:
1.Network. Network. Network. The most important first
step in accessing the hidden job market is to network.
Get out there and talk to anyone and everyone who may be able to give you insight
into where there are jobs.
Start by making a list of everyone you can talk to.
These people do not have to be friends, or even
acquaintances, just anyone with whom you have enough
of a common thread to initiate a conversation. Great
potential networking contacts include friends,
acquaintances, neighbors, relatives, church members,
classmates, teachers, club members, employers,
supervisors, colleagues, subordinates, clients,
customers and fellow association members.
Help these people to help you by making it easy for
them. Instead of asking specifically if they know of
any job openings, ask them for tips, leads and
suggestions. If they know of a job, they’ll be sure to
mention it. If not, the information and contacts you
gain can be invaluable.
2.Research potential employers. Since you’ll be
applying for a job without seeing a job description,
it’s important to research the company to find out as
much as you can about the tasks, skills, and
experiences they may be looking for. This will help
you to write a resume and cover letter that is
relevant to their organization.
Staying focused on a specific industry or position
will make the task of researching companies much
easier. Starting with too broad of a scope can be
overwhelming and you may find you never get around to
actually contacting any companies.
3.Learn how to sell yourself. When a company has not
requested resumes for a specific position it can be
difficult to get the attention of the key decision
maker. After researching potential employers you
should have a better understanding of what they’re
looking for. Use this information to sell yourself.
Do this by answering the question “why should this
employer hire me?” Be specific and creative when you
list all relevant experience, training and skills that
will be of interest to them. Make sure your resume
spells out your key selling points so that the
employer is left with little doubt that you are a
perfect fit for the organization. Even if they don’t
have a job available immediately, they’ll most
certainly keep your resume on file for future
4.Get your resume to the right person. If your
networking or company research produced the name of a
person who is responsible for hiring then start by
calling the company and verifying that person’s name
and contact information.
If you don't know of a specific contact at the
company, call and ask for someone by title. For
example you might say, "I need to write a letter to
your head of accounting. May I know his or her name,
please?" If you can't think of anyone at all, ask for
the president. It’s unlikely you’ll get through to him
or her, but the secretary can point you in the right
Once you have a person’s name you can send a
personalized cover letter and resume. In the letter,
be sure to state exactly what kind of job you’re
looking for. Simply saying that you’re looking for any
available position does not make you come across as a
End your letter by telling them you'll be calling them
within 48 hours. Don’t leave them waiting too long to
hear from you or you’ll be forgotten.
5.Don’t take “no” for an answer. It’s rarely
get the attention of decision makers in a company.
Even once you know the proper person to contact, you
still have the task of getting your resume into his or
her hands. In this situation persistence really does
pay off, so stick with it.
The key to getting through to them is to anticipate
what problems you may encounter and have a plan for
how you’ll deal with them. Some of the most common
problems you’re likely to face are:
• Gatekeepers: These are the secretaries and assistants
whose job is to keep you away from the decision maker.
Get around them by calling at least once a day until
you reach the decision maker directly. You can also
try calling after hours or at lunch time.
• Voicemail: Leave a message with the specifics of why
you’re calling and your contact information. Then end
the call by saying that you’ll call them back and
when. This is a good introduction for when you are
able to get them on the phone.
• Objections: When you do get through to the decision
maker you may be met with a series of objections.“We’re not hiring” or “I’m too busy right now” are
common, so expect to hear them. Usually reassuring
them that you will only take a moment of their time
and then quickly stating your reason for calling is
the best approach.
About the Author:
Bill Zhou is the founder of CareerCube.net, an online community with experienced
career experts dedicated to
helping career-minded individuals. For professional advice on resume writing,
interview strategies and finding the perfect career, visit http://www.careercube.net