This article is part of an exclusive month-long program on CAREEREALISM to help readers break free of The Golden Handcuff Effect. Click HERE to learn more about the Professional Emancipation Project, a.k.a. The P.E.P. Talk. Did you know hundreds of thousands of high five- and six- figure jobs are filled each month that are never seen on job boards? Meanwhile, the 15% to 20% of positions that make it to job boards are “jumped on” by 95% of job seekers! That sheds some light on why job seekers complain of never getting any responses from job boards. The truth is that the problem isn’t with you or your resume: Job boards yield an average 1% response rate. That’s awful!
How To Find 6-Figure Jobs In The Hidden Job MarketSo, how can you tap into this 'hidden job market' anyway? Here's some insight:
The Hidden Job Market DefinedSo ,what exactly is the hidden job market? This refers to positions that are filled without ever being advertised. Since this represents the majority of positions, it makes sense for job seekers to learn how to reverse engineer a job search and take proactive control. Job seekers should focus efforts toward identifying those companies that match their target and then reach out to introduce themselves. There is an art to this, but with a little effort job seekers can tap into a huge pool of jobs with less competition and often more salary negotiation room – because once jobs make it to a job board, the process (salary/job description/requirements) becomes more solidified.
The Hidden Job Market And NetworkingMany job seekers are led to believe the hidden job market is a code word for networking. Actually, pure networking can add months to a job search, if that is the only method used – turning that word so many career pros tout into another frustrating and expensive alternative to job boards. To compound this, many job seekers believe networking means asking everyone they know if they are aware of any companies that are hiring and handing their resume out. You will notice this method, too, is very passive and puts someone else in control of the job search process. Again, tapping into the pool of hidden jobs means taking more leadership than usual, and that is achieved by initiating a self-directed approach. Networking is important to master because it is a part of many job search strategies, but it is backed up by recognizing shared goals and asking for informational interviews – not open positions. This way, if there are open positions, the lines of communication are open – plus, you will open the door to connect with professionals who can help in other ways.
Strategies For Tapping Into The Hidden Job MarketNow we know the hidden job market is not code for “do more networking.” The question is – how does one find and capitalize on unadvertised jobs? The short answer: Find companies within a particular industry and contact the key decision maker directly. Before a job seeker does this, he or she must have a focus in order to craft a value proposition. Your value proposition is essentially, “the promise of an experience that a potential employer is going to have by hiring you” and this is supported by quantifiable achievements. Many job seekers find it difficult to quantify their accomplishments – often referencing the task oriented nature of the position they hold. However, I have found that struggles to quantify achievements is as easy as shifting ones focus from “what you do” to “what happens when you do it”. Most all employed professionals make or save their employers money – even if they don’t think of themselves that way. Value propositions in the form of letters or resumes that show results are REALLY interesting to key decision makers (meaning – executives high up enough that they are primarily focused on strategies for revenue generation, cost savings and growth). With social media and “free” tools like Google, It is extremely fast and easy to find companies and key contact names in most every industry and geographic location. Job seekers can also use associations and online trade journals to develop their list of companies to reach out to. Job seekers can “track” growth in various industries using Google News Alerts. Contacting companies for a reason such as winning an award, being acquired or going through a merger, releasing a product, strong growth or profit reports or a corporate move or expansion are all exceptional reasons to explain why one is reaching out, and shows the job seeker as a professional with tremendous initiative. No matter what is happening in the economy, one thing is true: Companies will ALWAYS be interested in hiring professionals who can demonstrate they can help make or save money. That is why the hidden job market offers abundant opportunities to maximize leverage and minimize “liabilities” and competition. Perhaps the best thing about unadvertised positions is that no matter if you are looking for a new grad job, if you are a mid-level manager or a senior executive – the hidden job market is THE place to fully leverage your career opportunities.
Want to learn more about the hidden job market? Check out: Secrets of the Hidden Job Market . . . Revealed! Electronic Guidebook & Pre-Recorded Online Audios.