Seventy percent of jobs today are not advertised. Unlock the Hidden Job Market, a new book from executive career consultant Duncan Mathison, shows how smart job seekers target the larger hidden job market by approaching it with different attitudes, upgraded networking techniques and job searching tools that are specifically relevant to today’s economy.
So what does this mean to those who are looking for jobs during the holiday season?
Do not fall into the holiday slump. The dumbest thing a job searcher can do now is put off the search until after the first of the year when there might be more jobs out there. People will be hired after the first of the year, but they will be the ones who got introduced to the hiring manager in the next few months.
The smart job searcher who is targeting the hidden job market understands that managers have the most flexibility in creating jobs during the budgeting season when they are looking at priorities and positions. Strike now when the iron is hot.
Kick the networking into high gear. Your goal is to meet people who would manage someone with your skills and capabilities. When budget decisions are being made, there will be a manager who thinks. “I could use this person next year…”
Ask about budgets. Talking to someone from one of your target companies? Ask them if they know what the staffing plans are for the next year. Don’t be put off by general statements that there “might be more cuts”. You are interested in knowing if they might add a position in your specific functional area.
Ask about employer’s priorities for the coming year. Do they want to launch a new product? Open a new market? Improve their quality operations? Install a new system? Start a new program? In some situations this planning might be a closely kept secret but for many managers it’s not. They don’t tell because nobody bothers to ask. Knowing what they will be working on may give you a clue about how your skills can help.
Keep your eye out for situations where your mix of talents might offer two for the price of one. Sometimes employers think they have to hire two people when they think they cannot get the skill set in one person. (“We need one person who knows about X and another who knows about Y.”) You might bring both. Once a manager meets you and decides you would be an asset for their team, they will adjust the new position to meet your skills.
Start the process of getting hired before the position is approved. Until the manager gets approval, they may be reluctant to promise a job. But you can always ask questions to get the ball rolling before other others get wind of the opportunity. For example, you might ask, “Are there other people you think I should meet as this new position is under consideration?”, or “If you get the budget, do you feel confident I would be the right person for this position?”
Unlock the Hidden Job Market shows how smart job seekers target the larger hidden job market by approaching it with different attitudes, upgraded networking techniques and job searching tools that are specifically relevant to today’s economy. Check out the book’s Web site for tips, advice as well as a template for the “anti resume” Targeted Opportunity Profile.