Have you ever missed an opportunity to go to see your favorite band live because you couldn’t get your hands on tickets once they went on sale? You knew they would go on sale on a certain date, but when you went to purchase them online, they were gone! Unless you were on a special mailing list or “knew someone who knew someone,” you were going to have to wait for hours in long lines, hoping to get lucky. Job search can be the exactly same way. Reactive job seekers wait for the jobs to “go on sale” before they apply, then deal with long lines and tons of competition, often missing the best job opportunities. Everyone knows you can’t wait until tickets go on sale if you hope to get the good concert seats. But, how do you apply this knowledge to a job search?
With the current employment climate, there are more job opportunities out there than people realize. Unfortunately, most job seekers still think all available job are posted on job boards. When in reality, fewer than 20% of all jobs available are posted on job boards. So where do job seekers go to find the other 80%? How do you get on a special groupie mailing list, get “presale” tickets, or find someone who knows someone?
Here are a few hints:
Special groupie mailing lists = Social Media: Many companies would much prefer not to use large online job boards because of the hundreds, sometimes thousands, of unqualified resumes they get through that resource. Social media tools allow companies to communicate directly with an already interested and loyal group of followers on Twitter, Facebook and their own company webpage. Social Media is one great way to access the hidden job market!
Presale tickets = Cold Calling Target Companies: Today, companies are having a very difficult time finding qualified candidates and many of these companies don’t have recruiters, so the hiring managers are on their own to find good candidates. Since most managers don’t have extra time to do a lot of recruiting themselves, they would jump at the opportunity to talk to someone that contacted them directly simply to tell them their background and that they were available. This is a great time of year to introduce yourself and the value you can bring to their company, while, at the same time, gain some inside information on when appropriate jobs might be coming available. If you do this well enough, perhaps you will get the opportunity to interview for the job before it is even posted. Talk about front row seats!
Knowing Someone Who Knows Someone = Networking: Of course the oldest job search strategy in the book is still the best way to get into your most desired companies. First, rather than asking your network for current job openings (most likely none), inquire about people they know in the industry or companies you are targeting. This will get you closer to people that actually might know about upcoming jobs. Second, use LinkedIn proactively vs. reactively. Don’t simply post a profile and wait for people to find you. Use the power of electronic networking and go find the contacts that need to know who you are, and what type of job you are looking for.
Follow these simple tips and you will start getting your hands on more tickets (interviews!) and find yourself getting closer to the job you really want every day!