Debra Feldman

Looking for a New Job or Thinking About a Change?

Secret strategies for landing a job in the hidden market.

November 18, 2010
by Debra Feldman

Did you know that only about 15 percent of jobs are advertised? Today, the vast majority of positions are filled through personal contacts. Put simply, access to employment opportunities depends on connections to learn about potential leads to newly created roles, organizational restructurings, new needs, unexpected vacancies and authorized hiring.

Unadvertised jobs are often referred to as the hidden job market which, except for that 15 percent mentioned above, are where the jobs are. You are more likely to find a job using networking as your primary job search method than by submitting numerous resumes and applications. Chances are against landing using the job boards, working with external recruiters, combing corporate websites, searching on classified and professional listings, online specialty and general job sites, attending career fairs, etc. It is not just what you know or who you know, but who knows you, appreciates your potential contribution and has the authority to hire you. You must make more strategic contacts. That is connect with  individuals who can appreciate your potential to contribute to their success by increasing profits, cutting costs or improving process AND who can hire you or recommend you to hiring authorities.

CareerXRoads Ninth Annual Sources of Hire Study (PDF) author, Gerry Crispin, quotes a startling finding about the critical role that inside contacts play in the recruting process, “An employee [connection produces] a 50 times greater chance of being hired. That’s right 50!” That fact alone is sufficient to justify that the job searcher’s focus should be on networking with purpose, not on applying. The fastest job search process is to Network Purposefully™ . Follow the steps below to execute a swift, successful job search campaign using these best practices.

  • Focus is number one. Once you start networking within a specific niche, the world gets smaller, your your name gets passed around and starts to generate good buzz about you which builds trust and increases your credibility, both competitive advantages.
  • Choose an industry sector and identify target companies.
  • Research each employer and describe strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
  • For each employer show how you can address these challenges and solve their problems based on your experience, knowledge, skills, training, etc. Present yourself as the no risk, first choice, go-to expert who is a perfect fit.
  • Within each target company, find the appropriate hiring decision maker.
  • Connect with the hiring authority directly through cold calling, an introduction arranged by a mutual contact, connect virtually via social media, meet in person, etc.
  • Succinctly present your interest and demonstrate your potential value to their team.
  • Be patient, polite and persistent. You are not the employer’s first priority. It is your responsibility to capture their attention and promote a positive relationship.
  • Follow up continuously to stay on the decision maker’s radar so that you will be recalled in the future for an appropriate opportunity if there is not an immediate assignment.
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© Debra Feldman, 2010

Debra Feldman is the JobWhiz™, a nationally-recognized expert who designs and personally implements swift, strategic and customized senior-level executive job search campaigns with career insurance, banishing barriers that prevent immediate success. Her gift for Networking Purposefully™ and expediting stalled job searches — executed with high energy and savvy panache — connects candidates directly to decision makers, not HR. Learn more about her groundbreaking techniques that compress job searches from months into weeks. Contact Debra now at www.JobWhiz.com to expedite your executive ascent!