This isn’t about jobs that are not posted anywhere that is a gigantic myth of epic proportions. Most companies spend a lot of time prior to posting a job determining what they need and then getting approval for that job to be filled. There may be some that are not posted but most jobs will be placed somewhere whether it’s with a recruiter or placed on their website. The problem is that there are way more companies that need your skills then you could possibly find. For example right here in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex there are thousands of companies. Not all need your talent but you never know. The Hidden Job Market that I refer to is finding people who work at companies that have opportunities for you and they are willing to refer you to the position. Human Resources and Hiring Managers love employee referrals especially if they like the employee giving them the referral.
Each time you put in for a job posted on the normal methods i.e. Monster, Dice, and CareerBuilder etc. Hundreds of other applications had the same idea. Why is this important? Because now your resume is just one of many.
Jonathan Blaine has a great article on why the hidden job markets are a myth. Go and stop by it’s an interesting read but remember. What you’re doing when you networking is broadening the ability to meet people who know of opportunities and can refer them to you. So read below and make it happen people!
When I tell people about this market they all look kinda surprised until they start telling me stories of how they got their best job or their current job. Usually it starts out something like this..
“Yeah my friend of a friend was talking about me and they were looking for a graphics designer so my friend mentioned me and then told me about it. I got the name of the guy and called him up.”
In 2010 or 11 I was laid off. My project manager at the time felt terrible and we got to talking about stuff. Next thing I knew she had called a friend of hers who was looking for a business analyst. She asked me if she could give them my number. I said absolutely. She also explained how she told him all about me and basically interviewed the job for me! Next thing I know He called me up and offered me the job. He didn’t even ask any of those terrible interview questions. We spoke for a few minutes and before the end of the day I had a really good offer letter in my email. (Yes the job had been posted to their website but I had an in because the project manager was well respected).
Let’s take a look at your current network
Is it rusting on the shelf? Then it’s time to update. First of all take a look at LinkedIn
Update Your Network
Social Media Makes it Easy
If your network is a bit out dated like mine was it’s time to beef it up. Technology makes that really easy through LinkedIn.
- LinkedIn makes it easy to see what your connections have been up to. If anyone that you know has published a post try liking it or even share it if it’s valuable content.
- Take 10 minutes of your time and write a recommendation (Stop! Don’t just endorse!!!) Actually take a few minutes and write down a recommendation. Believe it or not people love this it is flattering (especially when it’s true) There is nothing nice than receiving an unexpected praise. Try and do this at least a couple times a week.
- Go through your connection list and see if there is anyone you can add from your previous position or even ones that are earlier.
Update Your Facebook Friends and Email Contacts
Now it’s time to go through your email contacts and even your Facebook friends. See if you have friends or ex co-workers you haven’t spoken to in awhile
- Write them an email and touch base with them. See if they’d like to go to lunch ask them how they are doing? Etc.
- If you feel uncomfortable with that drop them a short note thanking them for (whatever they helped you with.
Get Some New Contacts
OK look you’re out of a job so it’s not like your busy or anything so it’s time to do some volunteer work. I don’t really care if it’s with the PTA or with PETA volunteering will help you connect with like minded people and as these relationships grow you’ll be able to leverage them to find a new career.
Industry Forums and Conferences
Check out and research any upcoming industry forums and conferences that you may be coming to your area. Or maybe there are some online groups that you can join. Check out certification websites if you have your Project Management Certification there is a great networking opportunity right in the monthly meetings. Other specialties can include things like specific Training in newer technologies.
Be a part of your industries community this can only enhance both your knowledge and your contacts
Check out some educational activities hey you’re out of job it’s time to make hone in on some skills. Check out different certifications in your area and see if you can join. Self-education is AWESOME! I love to learn so I think everyone else does to.
Check out Toastmasters or other clubs that can both teach and lead you to networking opportunities a quick search on Google will get you started in finding some in your area. If there isn’t one the best thing you can do is start one up!
If you’re looking for help and don’t know if you can do this networking by yourself your not alone. Many people are afraid to take the steps that will allow them to succeed. If you’d like extra help you can feel free to get some career coaching with me.
At Interview Ally we succeed by providing personalized Career Strategies, Interview Techniques, and Career Assessments based on each individual. Our Employment Professionals succeed by personalizing our approach to our client. We’ve successfully placed interns, new graduates, experienced professionals and executives in Fortune 1000 companies.
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