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Implementing Your Job Search,
Tapping the Hidden Job Market (MAINTAIN)

By Susan P. Joyce

[This is Step 5 in Part 2 of Job-Hunt's Online Job Search Tutorial.]

Maintaining what you have built when your job search is over will make your next job search easier or, hopefully, unnecessary. With a good network and solid professional visibility, your next job will find you.

Techniques for Tapping into the Hidden Job Market?

1.) PUSH - Reach out to the hidden job market.

2.) PULL - Bring the hidden job market to you.   

3.) MAINTAIN - Keep your network alive (this post) so that you have a great foundation for that next job search.

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MAINTAIN - Keep Your Network Alive

Maintain that network you have built! Don't let it die just because you have a job, and don't think that you need it any more. You need it, forever!

Your network is your doorway to the Hidden Job Market. Your network is also key to career success when you are employed.

The beauty of the network that you've now established is that, as you advance in your career, so will many of the other members of your network. So, you will move up the career ladder together, helping each other along.

Maintaining Your Network:

  • Stay active in your social networks, particularly LinkedIn.  Help others, if you get a chance, and stay in touch.  Stay visible.  Keep managing your "personal brand."  You never know when you're going to need that network again!.
  • Focus on making your network continue to grow - consciously try to meet new people, outside of your new employer's organization.
    • List everything you did and everyone you met (who learned your name) during your job search. Count up the number of names and determine how much larger you can make it in the next 12 months, be reasonably agressive (if you met 50 people, adding 5 people is only 10% growth, less than 1 new person every 2 months, which should be easily achievable). Don't make yourself crazy, but don't make it so easy that it doesn't get done.
    • Look at the number of things you did (meetings, articles, associations). Prioritize them according to how useful they were to your job search. Focus on the ones with the biggest payback to you. Discard the ones that were more effort than they were worth.
  • Make time for at least one "networking" phone call a week to someone you met in your hidden job market campaign (one of those people from your list above). Find out how they are doing and see if there is anything that you can do for them. Meet them for a cup of coffee or lunch or an association meeting. Share news and insight. Have fun!
  • Keep that personal resume Web site up to date, but indicate on it that you are not in the job market (see the bottom of the sample ASCII resume).
  • Stay in those professional/industry organizations! Use the priority list you developed (above) to determine the ones to keep active and the ones that go "on the back burner." Add the ones that you just plain enjoy.

    Go to the conferences, workshops, seminars, and monthly meetings. Stay on the committees, if you can (at least one of them). You will continue your professional growth, and maintain those important connections. Some employers will pay for your membership, too. If not, and the meeting cost is high, pay for it yourself (as an investment in your career) if you can afford it. If you can't afford it, ask one of your colleagues if you can attend a meeting as their guest.
  • Continue writing, teaching, and speaking. You will be more successful professionally if you can write well and are comfortable speaking in front of groups. So, consider this professional growth as well as professional networking.
  • Continue to meet with members of your job hunt support group, probably less often. As they land their jobs, you will gain insight and connections into other organizations, expanding your network even more. When everyone has a job, continue meeting periodically (maybe monthly or quarterly), and have everyone bring a guest once in a while (quarterly?) so that the network continues to grow.

Picture yourself calling up your colleagues from an association's program committee the next time you launch a job search, and asking them if they know of any good job openings. Or, even better, picture yourself receiving a phone call from a member network asking you to accept a job at their company! It happens!!

If you want to read an excellent book on the subject, track down a copy of "never eat alone" by Keith Ferrazzi.  It's available in bookstores, Amazon, Kindle, etc., and it is excellent.

Good luck with your job search!

NEXT: Part 3 - Preparing for Your Next Job Search


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. A veteran of the United States Marine Corps and a recent Visiting Scholar at the MIT Sloan School of Management, Susan is a two-time layoff “graduate” who has worked in human resources at Harvard University and in a compensation consulting firm. Since 1998, Susan has been editor and publisher of Job-Hunt.org. Follow Susan on Twitter at @jobhuntorg and on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+.


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