Career experts estimate 75% of employment opportunities are never formally announced to the general public. Of the remaining 25%, employers can receive literally thousands of inquiries depending on the position’s industry, job function, and specialty area. Because this job search strategy yields low ROI, I recommend that jobseekers spend no more than 15% of the time they allot to their search responding to job ads. Instead, use the rest of your time to tap into the hidden job market through networking and direct contact. This approach is most effective for uncovering new job openings within a challenged economy.
The following five action steps are strategies candidates can immediately apply to design and activate a targeted company list that yields lucrative informational interviews and job leads.
First, define company requirements using the following criteria:
• Size of company based on revenue, # of employees, where they are in the product development stage (if applicable), or if they’re public private
• Job function; will this management or direct contributor
• Environment: company culture
• Management-style: highly structured or not
• Location: geography, will you relocate, will you travel
• Other parameters you determine based on your particular job search criteria
Second, confirm what companies and positions you are not interested in.
• When doing so, be sure to consider previous positions you didn’t enjoy because of culture or job fit.
Third, begin to create your company target list:
• Identify select companies using various research opportunities (i.e. LinkedIn, Hoover, GlassDoor, etc.).
• Obtain applicable hiring managers and other key contacts via referrals, LinkedIn, Plaxo, Facebook, company websites).
Fourth, conduct preliminary research on company and industry to prepare for initial contact.
Finally, make initial contact to schedule an information interview. During the interview, only ask for advice, ideas, leads, and referrals. DO NOT ask for employment.
By carefully executing the above strategies, you will be that much closer to securing the job of your dreams. Good luck and happy hunting!
Image credit: Clive Warneford