Debra Feldman

Access Hidden Job Markets Using Traditional Methods and Media Resources

Eight tips show you how.

July 21, 2011
by Debra Feldman

In last month’s column, I divulged how to target employer insider-networking contacts using LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social-networking platforms and blogs to make new connections and develop relationships with individuals who might be able to provide job leads and introductions to hiring decision-makers.

Take the Traditional Route to Success

Here are eight more ways in which you can access the right insiders at target companies and learn about potential new career opportunities before they are advertised:

  1. Search trade publications and general news media for personnel mentions at the target company.
  2. Check annual reports and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings of public companies for names of company executives and Board members, accountants and legal advisors.
  3. Review professional membership organization lists; sales and investment-relations staff are accustomed to facing the public and are more apt to converse.
  4. Search for connections among school-alumni directories, corporate-alumni groups, not-for-profit organization memberships, user groups, forums and e-lists and other groups for members with whom you share common interests.
  5. Look for contacts at traditional and virtual industry conferences and check speakers, panels and committee rosters for company affiliations.
  6. Search “press releases,” “media contact” or “speaker bios” plus company name and relevant descriptive terms.
  7. If the target company is local, find out where employees hang out and meet them there at their health clubs, restaurants, local athletic activities, volunteer organization meetings and sponsored events, etc.
  8. Ask a reference librarian for resources through which you can search a contact who formerly worked at your target company. You can also look for someone who does business with the company, such as a consulting firm, supplier, vendor, insurance firm or bank. Exploring subscription databases, such as Hoovers and Dun and Bradstreet can help greatly.


Many of these resources are available on the Web for free. Some may be easier to find through a paid database usually available at a public library onsite or by remote access. Many colleges and universities also subscribe to these and offer virtual access to alumni as well as current students and staff. These resources are getting more popular as people conduct their own research by building the needed skills for effective online search.  Being among the early adopters definitely has advantages in the job market. You can have the right network before you need to find a new job using your connections to learn about potential hiring needs, both posted and those that are not advertised.

In today’s world, you can use many of the same tools that professional recruiters rely on to source openings.

Who you know has always been a critical factor for success. You have to stay in touch, market yourself and help others network if you want to be one of the top candidates. Connect with a company employee now with whom you may want to work, so that you are available to help them and you will have a trusting relationship in place when the time comes for your next job search.

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Debra Feldman is the JobWhiz(TM), a nationally-recognized expert who designs and personally implements swift, strategic and customized senior level executive job search campaigns, banishing barriers that prevent immediate success. Her gift for Networking Purposefully(TM) and expediting stalled job searches connects candidates directly to decision makers, not HR. Learn more about her groundbreaking techniques that compress job searches from months into weeks leveraging online visibility and maximizing traditional techniques.

(C) Copyright, 2011, Debra Feldman. All rights reserved. Used with permission.