A Few Ways to Tap Into the Hidden Job Market

Hidden Job MarketThis 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

Volunteer

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

Education

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.

Interview Ally is dedicated to helping our clients by education and a personalized approach. Our services are designed for each client to assist them in understanding who they are and helping them establish the goals and give them the tools to succeed in their career.

 

A Few Job Search Websites That Everybody Should Use

Job Search WebsitesThere are a staggering number of online job portals available today. There are so many that a job seeker can be overwhelmed just trying to figure out which one to use. There are large search engines and small search engines. They are niche job boards that cater to specific industries, and there are even some bad job boards that will do little to help you find a position. While some of the major well-known sites are good, many job hunters are afraid to visit the less well-known sites. Many of these sites can be just as good, or even better than the giant mega job portals. Here is a short list of 5 online job sites that everybody should use:

  1. Indeed.com: This website is a meta-search engine that actually collects and compiles data from other websites. Indeed.com collects job listings from job boards, newspapers and human resource pages of company websites. It puts all this information in one place and filters out multiple listings of the same job. When you find a job you want to apply for, Indeed.com simply sends you to the original posting of the position. The fact that it collects data from so many sources and still manages to filter out duplicate postings makes Indeed.com a valuable tool in job hunting.
  1. SimplyHired.com: Another meta-search engine, SimplyHired also aggregates job openings from a variety of listings. However, SimplyHired also collects data from social networking sites, and includes that data in an all-in-one social network, blogging and media web portal. A great place if you are looking to find as much information in a single place as possible.
  1. LinkUp.com: LinkUp specializes in compiling listings directly from company websites. LinkUp considers these “hidden jobs”, since they are not usually advertised on the open market, and they can be difficult to locate. Unless you are searching a whole range of specific companies in your industry, then LinkUp will have many positions listed that are not found anywhere else.
  1. LinkedIn.com: LinkedIn is a professional networking site. Its specialty is providing opportunities to network between professionals without all the inane junk that clutters up a typical social network site like Facebook. LinkedIn has its own job board and allows members to post jobs to member only groups.
  1. Google.com: Google is, of course, the leading search engine on the Internet. However, many people underestimate the power of Google as a tool for searching for job openings. You should use Google to research companies in your field and quickly uncover positions that other sites may miss. You can also use Google Alerts to receive an update any time a new result is found that matches your specific query. In this manner, you can be aware of new job listings as soon as they go live.

Speak Slower to Communicate Faster

Speak SlowerPeople in a hurry, or who are nervous, often speak fast. Their listeners don’t understand, and either ask them to repeat themselves, or stop trying to figure out what they said. In either case, the speaker’s message is lost, and the listener may be frustrated. If this happens enough, the speaker’s supervisor may be upset, subordinates stop trying to follow instructions, and possible sales or job promotions may be lost.

When trying to speak slower, focus on the goal of the message being understood, not on yourself as the speaker. If the information in your message may be complicated for your listener, the listener is in a noisy setting, may be distracted or may have a hearing loss, you need to be especially careful to speak more slowly. Again, this isn’t about you as the speaker; it’s about the goal of getting that message through to your audience.

Start by imagining yourself doing something you consider to be “slow”. That might be driving at 25 mph down a particular street, swinging on the porch swing, backing out of your driveway, watching a turtle walk, or some other image. Can you count to 20 at that slow pace? Can you say your telephone number at that pace (realizing a listener may be writing it down if you leave it on a voice mail)? Can you recite your address, the Pledge of Allegiance, and directions to make your favorite sandwich or other food at that slow pace? Keep making the verbal tasks harder, saying them at a “slow” pace.

Record yourself and listen to your progress. Ask someone for feedback on how clearly you are speaking.

If you are not making progress after doing this with daily practice for a month, do not have a neurological disorder that impacts your speech, and are not taking any medication that may cause rapid speech, you may benefit from professional speech coaching, by a corporate speech pathologist.

Another option is an e-book with specialized techniques; get someone else to listen to you and give feedback.

Speaking more slowly does not make a person sound stupid. It often makes them sound much clearer, more deliberate. In fact, people who slow their rate of speech often comment that they now have more time to think of the correct answer or the best word to use.

Speaking quickly can cause many problems. Today’s the day to start solving them!

How to Avoid the Most Common Mistakes When Negotiating a Job Offer

Negotiating a Job OfferWhen you’re looking for a job, one of the most stressful aspects of the process is handling the salary conversation. We’ve always been taught it’s impolite to talk about money, and yet, there you are, meant to be haggling away and assigning value to yourself that should match a secret number your potential employer has in mind, too. It can seem like a minefield to navigate, but there are some common steps to this process that will help you move forward, especially in the construction and engineering industries, where numbers can depend on conversations that job seekers often have a hard time with.

Giving too much information: A potential employer will likely ask you what your current salary is, or what your requirements are. If they ask this early on, be aware: you don’t have to answer this directly. If you’re hoping to make a vastly higher number than your current salary; you will give some leverage for the employer to offer you less early on. You’ll lose any kind of ground you can gain later in the interview process through negotiating–once you will have proven your value. Now, you do need to respond, and you should decide the way that you may feel most comfortable beforehand. One option is to do your research: use a salary calculator to determine an average salary range for your title and location, and use that number to create a salary range to offer to your potential employer. Or, if early enough in the process, simply and politely let the interviewer know that you’re aware of the industry standards, and appreciate their consideration along those lines for the position. Read the situation for an appropriate response, and practice answering these questions often so you won’t be caught unprepared and share numbers you weren’t ready to give yet.

Not negotiating at all: Some people are afraid that they’ll ruin their chances by being too demanding, or appearing greedy. But it’s a mistake not to ask for a salary that meets your value, especially if you feel that a salary offered isn’t ideal; often, companies can certainly afford much more than what they offer, and they’ll start at the low end of their range. As long as you do your research in terms of appropriate salary levels, you’ll likely be proving that a) you know your true value, and b) you’re an assertive, smart, and hard-working person they’d be lucky to bring on board. So, when offered a salary you’re not thrilled with, do respond by politely suggesting a number more in line with your needs, and the backed-up reasons why it’s realistic (your experience, your value, industry standards, and so on).

Taking negotiations personally, rather than logically: This goes hand-in-hand with the previous tip. Your future employer will not be hurt if you ask for more money–it’s a business transaction. So conversely, you need to remind yourself that their offers are solely based in business reasoning as well; they’re not at all personal. When a low salary is offered, it isn’t a reflection on you, and your response shouldn’t be emotional. It should be a counter backed up with facts and numbers that show you’re worth the number you’re putting forward. Consider, even, asking a question to keep conversation flowing evenly and in a friendly way: “Would you consider raising the amount by X to fully address the level of experience in this industry I bring… ?” Try not to be flustered or caught off guard, because the calmer and more assertive you’re able to be, the more you’ll show your negotiating partner that you know what you’re doing, and you’ll see this through.

In a full negotiation, you may not always get your exact desired number, but with the right approach and research, you will very likely find that you’ll have a better outcome and salary than you would have before. Professionals who take the time to do some research before beginning the job search will find it makes a great difference in your take-home pay/benefits later.