Let’s face it, it’s a tough time for job seekers today and with unemployment rates at record highs across the country the competition can be furious. Some may wonder how they can get ahead of the pack. It’s bigger than having a stellar resume and saying the right things at the interview, although important. It’s about seizing the opportunity before anyone else has a chance to; tapping into the hidden job market.
According to CollegeRecruiter.com 80% of jobs are not listed anywhere. You will not find these opportunities on indeed.com or in your local classifieds. It may be a position in the process of being created, at a start-up or where the hiring manager is too busy to post the opportunity.
There are a number of avenues that may give you access to the hidden job market and it starts right under your nose. And no pun intended; literally. The first thing you need to do is open your mouth and spread the word that you’re seeking.
Don’t be shy and don’t be ashamed because closed mouths don’t get fed; literally. Instead of just asking for a job, have conversations about what you’re looking for and ask for referrals or advice.
Reach out to your network of friends, family, former coworkers, anyone within an earshot and their networks. And with technology this can be done through a number of channels such as social media via LinkedIn or Twitter. I can recall how I got my first job out of college when I decided to move back to my hometown after graduating. I was having a casual conversation with a former classmate about my job search. She provided me with a referral to a human resources manager at the company she worked for and the rest is history. When coaching a student who graduated and after sometime did not have a job in her field of study, I encouraged her to introduce herself to office managers at medical offices in her local area. I was thrilled when she called to tell me she was offered a position. And something tells me if she was waiting on that same office to post an ad online, the opportunity may have slipped her by.
I’m not at all suggesting efforts applying to jobs online or through your local newspaper are futile. However, coupled with networking and making real connections you can find your way to your next job exponentially faster. Explore the opportunities that may not be readily recognized by others. And remember looking for the right job may be a matter of finding the right person to connect you to it.