Step 5 in Part 2: We all hear that most jobs (75% to 85%, reportedly)
are not posted on Web job boards or advertised in the newspaper.
These invisible jobs are the infamous "hidden job market,"
and you reach this gold mine of jobs by networking your way into
is not a "quick fix" (nothing is, if you haven't already
noticed). "Givers get" is the mantra of successful networking. Help others succeed or find what they need, and they will return the favor. Establishing a good network will make your next job search easier - just don't drop it as soon as you find
your next job.
for Tapping into the Hidden Job Market?
Reach Out To the "Hidden Job Market"
Reach out to
potential employers and potential co-workers, but reach out socially as a student, colleague, business colleague,
or mentor not as a job seeker.
One of the most effective ways to reach out is to volunteer to help a cause (or a candidate) important to you. There are many benefits to volunteering. Particularly when you are unemployed, volunteering can be a great way to add new skills and experiences to your resume, meet new people with whom you share something important, and get out of the house for a good reason. It's good for your spirits to help someone else, and it gives you something concrete to discuss when an interviewer asks you about what you did during "the gap" between jobs.
It can also be wonderful networking! You'll be meeting and working with new people for a common cause. See Job-Hunt's (Political) Party to a New Job article about working on political campaigns (usually unpaid).
Real - and Virtual - Social Groups
Even if you consider yourself to be very shy, these groups can be very helpful in connecting you with potential employers and co-workers, and they can also help you stay up to date with what is happening in an industry or profession.
- Social networking Websites are becoming more and more popular as ways to connect with people you know and even, carefully, to meet new people.
The sites work by offering people the ability to create, or to manage, a public profile telling people who they are and what they do and reaching out to friends and colleagues to enable them to reach people they may need to contact for their business, their job, or their job search.
Recruiters do use these sites to find qualified people for their open jobs, so they are a very important alternative to job boards - in many cases a more effective alternative.
For professionals in a job search LinkedIn is used by many MANY recruiters who find candidates qualified for their job opportunities by searching through the LinkedIn Profiles. Read the LinkedIn for Job Search articles for more tips and information about leveraging LinkedIn for your job search..
For much more information on using social media sites, read the articles in Job-Hunt's Social Media & Job Search Section on using social media, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, and scan the resources for job seekers.
check out Job-Hunt's Personal Branding Expert Meg Guiseppi's section on Personal Branding and her FREE Job-Hunt Guide ebooklet on Branding and Your LinkedIn Profile.
and industry associations and societies are usually plentiful
and very useful for job seekers. They can help you in more traditional situations when you add
the association's name to your resume (in a professional or industry
affiliations category, for example), and that name is used as
a keyword by a recruiter searching through an applicant database
on a Web search engine. Job-Hunt links to over 1,100 national and international associations, most of which have local chapters where you can meet people face-to-face.
See the job search networking articles from Liz Ryan, Job-Hunt's Networking Expert for ideas and strategies on meeting people and becoming comfortable attending meetings, particularly if you're a bit on the shy side.
- School Alumni/ae Associations - your college alumni/ae
association can be a very useful resource (your high school, too, if they
have an alumni/ae network). Many schools offer the use of the career
center to alumni and tap into the network represented by all the other
people who attended the same school. It's also an opportunity
to connect, hopefully, with old friends as well as meet new people you share an important life experience with.
If you don't know the URL for your college or university Web site,
find it in the University of Texas directory of U.S.
Higher Education, Maricopa Community College's Community
College Web, or Chris Redmond's list of Canadian
Universities. For a college or university outside of the U.S.
and Canada, check out the Yahoo! Web site for that country.
- Employer Alumni Associations - many groups are forming of people who are former employees (a.k.a. "company alumni" groups). Sometimes, they are supported by the employer who sees them as a good source of trained and qualified applicants if needed. More often, they are just groups that get together occasionally or exchange e-mail, and stay in touch. Check out Job-Hunt's Company & Military Alumni Network.
- Join a
job hunting support group - members
of these groups provide moral support and assistance to each other
as well as an extension of that critical personal network. Need a
contact inside a specific company? Ask the members of your group
if they know anyone there. Need another set of eyes to look at
your resume? Ask the members of your group for help. Of course,
you can also demonstrate your intelligence, professionalism, ethics,
experience, etc. by helping members of the group in return.
It probably goes without saying, but don't be a "user."
Look for ways you can help other members, and the help will come
back to you. Support groups can be a win/win situation, and, sometimes,
the critical link between you and the perfect job in the Hidden
To create a support group of your own, check out the excellent
advice in Through
the Brick Wall: How to Job Hunt in a Tight Market by Kate
Wendleton. And, Barbara Sher's Wishcraft:
How to Get What You Really Want (FREE!) provides
a how-to guide for creating your own "success team"
- a small group of people who mentor (encourage, assist, and -
yes - nag) each other to reach their individual goals -
excellent for job searching or help reaching any other goal you
have. Your success team is your own personal board of directors.
In the U.S., ask your local state
Employment Office for assistance in finding an existing support
group, or check with local churches to see if they have any groups
meeting in their facilities.
Also, visit your state's page of
job search resources in Job-Hunt and try the Networking and Job Search Support Groups
Bring copies of your current resume and a list of employers you want to reach. Ask other attendees if anyone knows the organizations and can help you identify and reach the appropriate hiring managers. Have agendas, action items, and a focus on positive action
to find a job.
discussion groups - there
must be hundreds of thousands of FREE discussion groups, each
based on a topic. Find a topic that interests you, and join the
list or the group. They can be an excellent source of information and also mis-information, so be cautious about believing everything
If they allow members to post comments or questions, "lurk"
for a while (just monitor the postings without participating)
to see what the rules of conduct seem to be. When/if you decide
to participate, be sure that your posting is relevant to the subject
and well-written (good grammar and spelling).
If you are a LinkedIn member (and you really should be!), check out the
LinkedIn Groups and join the Groups appropriate for you and the job you want.
Join the "Discussions." Read the "News" and post links to good articles you find. Scan the "Jobs." They are good places to both learn from others and raise your own personal visibility.
Be sure to join Job-Hunt's Job-Hunt Help Group on LinkedIn if you are in an open job search.
Find searchable lists of groups to join at Google Groups (groups.google.com) and Yahoo Groups.
As usual, be very careful of your privacy when you join any of
these groups. Use a throw-away e-mail address for participation (e.g. a Yahoo or HotMail account), protecting
your privacy when you register for your account.
the greatest success with most groups, online and offline, by
being a resource to others. If you pursue others for assistance
but don't provide assistance (or provide poor assistance) in return,
you don't present yourself as an ideal co-worker. Don't be afraid
to ask for help, but be careful if that's all you do.
Whatever you do, don't send a "nastygram" to
someone on the list! People have lost job opportunities because
they have demonstrated an apparently nasty temper in an open discussion.
Tip: If you wouldn't be comfortable having your mother, grandmother,
or new boss read your message on the front page of the New York Times or The Wall Street Journal, don't
hit the "send" button! These messages are very public! Employers and recruiters do "Google" job applicants
so be careful to leave a good impression, even in a so-called
and Business Press
These are great
sources of information! Look for companies that are entering into
new markets, announcing new products and services, hiring a new
senior manager or CEO, and/or buying large ads or commercials.
They may need more people, even if they haven't announced or advertised
their expanding needs.
Most business publications research and collect information on
businesses in their area which are frequently published in "lists"
(e.g. every edition of the weekly Boston Business Journal contains a list of the top 25 somethings in the Boston
area - top 25 law firms, top 25 hospitals, top 25 advertising
agencies, etc.). These are collected in an annual book of lists
which is very handy.
Every year Fortune magazine does a
list of the largest employers in the U.S. - the "Fortune
500®." (See Job-Hunt's lists of links to the Fortune 500 by sales rank.) Every year, Forbes magazine does it's own
list of the largest employers. Think of those lists as additional
catalogs of potential employers.
Find local, national, and international newspapers by region in Yahoo's Directory of Newspapers by Region.
For additional networking tips and ideas, see the great articles about job search networking.
Next - PULL
- Bring the Hidden Job Market to You!
ways to reach out to potential employers (PUSH,
above). Now, learn PULL
- making yourself visible in the right areas and the right ways
so that employers reach out to you.
About the author...
Online job search expert Susan P. Joyce has been observing the online job search world and teaching online job search skills since 1995. Susan is a two-time layoff "graduate" who has worked in human resources at Harvard University and in a compensation consulting firm. In 1998, her company, NETability, Inc. purchased Job-Hunt.org, and Susan has been editor and publisher of Job-Hunt since then. Follow Susan on Twitter at @jobhuntorg.
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