Tips to Find your Next Job in the Hidden Job Market.

For an advertised job, you may well be competing with 100 applicants and if you make the short list you will still be up against three or four solid candidates.

Compare this to the results from Job Search Networking campaign. Here, you may be the only candidate for the position. The employer is more likely to shape this new job to suit your current skills and abilities, rather than expect you to exactly fit a job advertisement.

Even if there is not a current vacancy, your proactivity and demonstrated knowledge of the organisation will put you in front of mind when one appears and, if you are sufficiently attractive, employers have been known to create a role especially to hire you.

If you are currently operating solely in the Visible Job Market, it is time to gather your courage and target the Hidden Job Market.

Positive Attitude + Resilience = Dreams come true

Understanding the concept

The aim of Job Search Networking is to explore whether your abilities, skills and background fit employment in a particular business, industry or organisation. And if so, whether there are any current employment opportunities that offer good prospects for a rewarding job.

A key factor in making this a positive interaction for all involved is to realise the value of the discussion itself, This meeting with someone who can give you good advice on how you should craft your future career is an incredibly worthwhile exercise. It is also an opportunity to showcase your worth through well thought out, genuinely relevant questions on the sector (so do your homework). Your proactivity means that at the very least you are building a great network of referrals for future opportunities.

This creates a win-win situation – you get good advice as well as a chance to highlight your talents, and the person you have gone to for advice is flattered to be seen as having a valuable opinion, which makes most people generous with their time.

Conversely, if you go with the sole purpose in mind of being offered a job, you risk a lose-lose situation as you may not be offered one, or the person you are meeting may not (currently) have a job to offer you and this shuts down the discussion straight away.

When it comes to Job Search Networking, it’s important to:

  1. Understand that many employers use networking to find employees.
    Rather than advertise available positions, many savvy employers prefer to rely on referrals from someone they trust to fill vacancies.
  2. Accept that most people like to help others.
    This is particularly true if you are straight out of school or University. Many people in the business community find it immensely satisfying to offer support and will go out of their way to offer you further leads and contacts.
  3. Take a Pass it Forward attitude to Job Search Networking.
    You may be uncomfortable asking person after person to support you in your next career move. It may make you feel that you are ‘using’ people. One way to overcome this reaction is to resolve to play your part in future to help another person make a good career move.
  4. Believe that you can contribute reciprocal value.
    View Job Search Networking as something more than an activity simply designed to help you. If you focus on what you can offer to the relationship, it will increase your feeling of authenticity.

Cold Calls

The cold call is a variation of the initial conversation used to arrange a networking meeting.  It is an extremely effective job search technique and gives you an edge over your competition.  Résumés and letters flood the desks of most managers; cold calls are comparatively rare, and well-planned cold calls are rarer still.

Is the world is your oyster?

There are only four ways to get a job and that will always be the case. If you are currently looking to move on and you are only using strategies in the ‘Visible’ job market, it may be time to gird your loins and extend your approach to incorporate Job Search networking.

If you do, there really is no downside. I would never have become a career specialist if I had not arranged a fateful networking meeting all those years ago. Yet, everyone who knows me can attest to how happy I am in this field and what a good fit it is for me.

At a minimum, you will emerge from your Job Search campaign a stronger, more resilient person. You will also be clearer about what you want to do, what you can offer and what is important to you. The effect will radiate out from you to your loved ones and will help shape your future career happiness.

That hoary old phrase, ‘The world is your oyster’ is likely to ring true. There’s nothing wrong with that as an outcome.

Done properly, it could lead to you winning your next job before anyone knows it exists!

Up next: Battling Career Agesim so that Winter Never Comes