Posted November 10, 2011 by

Cracking Hidden JOB Market

Employers across the nation HIRED about FOUR million people last month according to Bureau of Labor Statistics. About 10%, or 400,000 of the new hires earn $100k+ salary. Obviously the jobs are out there if you know where to look.

The “hidden job market” contains 80% of all job openings available but these great jobs go unadvertised. To find these jobs you must explore the “hidden job market.” It’s a proactive approach where you track down potential openings and actively follow up on leads. You won’t find much competition for these “unadvertised jobs” so the extra effort to track them down is well worth it. Here’s what to do:

1. Conduct some job market research. Analyze what job title you seek, and where the best opportunities lie for you. Make a list of at least 20 organizations to investigate for possible openings. To develop your list, use the Internet, business journals, annual reports, trade magazines, association listings, yellow pages, and business directories — many our found at your local library. Note the company name, address, phone number, website and email of a contact person. Your goal is to reach the hiring manager – your potential boss – not the Human Resources department.

2. Go to the company’s website. Take your newly created list and then go to each company’s websites. Look at what they offer: their products, services, or in the case of nonprofit – their mission. Still interested in them? Look for organizational charts, often you can find employee and/or executive names. Investigate, make a phone call of two if necessary but try to uncover the particularly company department head’s name who would likely be your boss, or your boss’s boss.

3. Network. Many jobs are found by obtaining a lead through contacts. Ask family, friends, neighbors, old bosses, colleagues, and college alumni for assistance in tracking down job openings, manager names and potential opportunities in your list of companies. Add new companies that they may bring to your attention. Your objective is to connect with someone inside the company who can provide inside information, and internally pass on your resume or application. If you can’t find someone inside, open the door yourself. Write a terrific self-marketing letter to the manager that would most likely be your boss. Include a short paragraph that concisely outlines your strongest skills and major accomplishments. Mention that you’ll be calling in a few days to learn more about their current needs. Attach your resume. Mail the letter (as in postal mail), not email. Follow up and call but be prepared to sell yourself on the spot if you reach the potential boss.

This approach takes a lot of effort but it works – and in our competitive job market that’s all that matters!  

Oprah’s job search expert is Robin Ryan, a career counselor providing job search, resume writing, and interview coaching services to clients nationwide. She is the best-selling author of:“60 Seconds & You’re Hired!”, “Soaring On Your Strengths”, “What to Do with the Rest of Your Life”, “Winning Resumes”,“Winning Cover Letters”, and her newest book, “Over 40 & You’re Hired”.

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