Saturday, August 4, 2007

The Elusive Hidden Job Market: 12 ways to find a hidden job - Page 3

How You Can Find The Hidden Job Market:

The typical answer you hear is ... network.

But that’s such a broad answer that it’s useless to a job seeker. Not all networking techniques work well to discover the hidden job market.

Consider these networking techniques commonly recommended to job seekers. Here are three low percentage tactics to uncover the hidden job market:
  • Spam your network with your resume or a marketing letter discussing your job search or qualifications
  • Call your network asking if they know of any jobs available
  • Schedule informational interviews or coffee discussions with your network so you can pass along a resume, or ask if they know of any jobs available
These strategies aren’t useless, but they were developed for times when there were shortages of qualified employees. Back when job search was a process of finding low hanging fruit, such random approaches could work. But in a job market with 5-6 times more candidates than jobs, the odds aren’t that great that these “old school” strategies will work well.

Instead, try these 12 techniques to increase your chances of finding the hidden job market:
  1. Stop looking for a job - look for problems that you are uniquely qualified to solve (see

  2. Don’t use job boards to look for a job - Use job boards to look for signals. Job boards can signal companies that are actively adding to their staff, who are adding a new manager for your intended department, who are growing, or who are trying to solve problems that you are uniquely qualified to solve (see

  3. Make it easy for employers to find you (

  4. Use Linkedin Company Follow to track who’s leaving and who’s joining your target companies. New managers often look to build their own teams and replace under-performing staff members. New managers are likely passively searching for new employees and are undertaking confidential searches to “upgrade” the lowest percentage performers. Managers who have left can be key information sources to help identify managers and problems (see

  5. Expand your network around your industry, geography, and targets (see

  6. Build value before you ask for help - create raving fans (see

  7. Don’t spam your network

  8. Schedule informational meetings, but don’t make them “ambush interviews” (see

  9. Avoid bringing a resume to an informational meeting - it’s not an interview. Passing along a resume before identifying an unapproved position or a problem that you can solve risks your resume being sent to HR - because that’s where resumes go (see

  10. Be a guerrilla (see

  11. Listen 5x more than you talk (see

  12. Be an anthropologist (see

Readers - Please share your stories and your tips. How have you found hidden jobs? What strategies have you used effectively to uncover the hidden job market?

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