Job Hunting - Hide and Seek for Adults!
The "hidden" job market refers to jobs which are not advertised. How do you find something that is hidden? Look in plain sight! Reach out to everyone you know, and then everyone they know, through networking. Be prepared for chance meetings with the basics - an introduction statement and business card.
Why are these jobs hiding?
With the ease of electronically submitting a resume, human resource professionals are often overwhelmed by hundreds of applicants for a handful of positions. Several rounds of interviews with multiple candidates is also very expensive.
Many of these professionals first get the word out of a job opening through their "network", hoping for personal recommendations from trusted sources before opening the floodgate to the resume avalanche.
Another pool of unadvertised jobs is from the self-employed and private individuals, with part-time and temporary needs, who don't have the time or resources to go through a formalized hiring process.
Some positions, such as CEO, are so high-level, that they don't get advertised in the milieu of other job openings. These positions do not open up frequently, and often take a long time to acquire.
What is "Networking"?
"Networking" is who you know, and who knows you. It is connecting with people to share information, and maintaining a way to stay in touch. A network can grow quickly by reaching out to your contacts' contacts.
Some networking is done online, through social media, networking sites such as LinkedIn, forums, etc. Then there is face-to-face networking, which can be done anywhere - from a formal networking event, to talking with your friends, family, and neighbors.
To really cultivate a network, you have to feed it and weed it, like a garden. Set up a system to track contact information, including little memos such as where you met and their interests. Keep in touch periodically and give back - something wonderful can come from humble beginnings.
The basics - introduction statement and business card
Often called an "elevator speech", an introduction statement is a concise way to introduce yourself. I prefer ones that sound completely natural and conversational, while conveying your strengths and what you are looking for.
Have a business card made up with your contact information and expertise, to give the person you just met. You want her to be able to reach you when the lightbulb goes off telling her you are perfect for a job she just heard about. Get her information as well; enter it into your contact database, and followup.
You don't need a business to have a business card. Get free business cards online at VistaPrint.com.
Hiding and Finding
My toddler hides, but he really wants to be found. Hidden jobs openings are like that; they really want to be filled. The key is to network wherever you go - online and in person. The more people who know you are looking, the more will help you with finding. Prepare for those impromptu opportunities by rehearsing your introduction, and having a business card.