Most candidates begin their job search online; but did you know that the majority of the jobs in the United States and other countries are never advertised online? In fact, it is estimated that 85% of all available jobs are filled before they ever reach the help wanted section. By learning the secrets to finding these potential opportunities, you can unlock a treasure trove of opportunities.
While the economy is still not what it once was, unemployment among white collar workers is at roughly 6% rather than the dismal 9%+ that we often hear about in the media. What this means is that there are jobs to be had, even if the market is a little tighter! I know this is true because so many of my executive level clients have gotten job offers over the past year.
If you are thinking of taking a new step in your career, here are a few tips to help you uncover a ‘hidden’ role, despite less than ideal economic circumstances:
Identify Your Target Companies
- When looking for a new opportunity, the first step in the process is to identify the types of companies where you would like to work. Brainstorm to create a full list. Make a spreadsheet of the specific firms you plan to target and track your efforts.
- Consider including small and mid-sized firms. Small businesses have created nearly 64% of net new jobs over the past 15 years according to the Small Business Administration (SBA).
- Look at national companies, as well as, local ones. Many have area offices. Others have regional presence. Quite a number of consultants and sales professionals now work home-office to get the job done.
Determine Your Point of Contact
- Once you know where you want to work, the next step is to determine for whom you will be working. To identify potential hiring managers, you can read industry articles, run a search on LinkedIn or Google, and visit the Management Team page of corporate websites.
- While at a company website, take a look at the open opportunities. Not all companies religiously update their jobs pages though, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t see the perfect role listed.
- If you cannot figure out who the best hiring manager is, the next best strategy is to identify a contact within Human Resources. While this is not optimal, it is definitely better than sending a generic résumé and cover letter that is not addressed to anyone’s attention.
Send an Attention Getting Résumé
- I recommend taking a multipronged approach when it comes to submitting your résumé. Be sure your documents are error free and provide a compelling overview of your accomplishments.
- Determining the email address of a hiring manager is usually rather simple. Many firms follow one of three formats. FirstInitialLastName email@example.com, FirstName.LastName firstname.lastname@example.org or First Name_LastName email@example.com. There are certainly exceptions to the rule. To test email addresses, you can go to one of several email test sites. Rolosoft has a good one.
- Fax numbers are also rather easy to obtain. If you call the receptionist and state that you are trying to send a fax to a particular individual, he or she should be fairly helpful and will provide you with the information you need. It is a good idea when sending an email to also send a fax. As they say, the squeaky wheel… Just be sure to modify your cover sheet to let the hiring manager know you sent the first communication via email. You don’t want to appear to be a stalker.
- Another way to garner more attention is to use US Mail. Some candidates have even opted for overnight letters to get attention from the firms they are most interested in pursuing.
This is a proactive search approach. Additional ways to uncover hidden opportunities include networking, networking, and more networking. Oh, and did I mention the importance of networking. You get the picture. The more effort you put into finding hidden jobs that others are unaware of, the more likely you will be to get interviews and advance your career with a new and exciting role.