October 29, 2014
“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”
~ Jimmy Dean
There are changes and opportunities ahead for job seekers and employers. As a job seeker, it is critical to know and understand the landscape so you can adjust your search strategy appropriately.
Did you know that each year, millions of jobs go unposted, creating what is referred to as the “hidden job.” If you are spending your time scouring job boards, you may be missing out on opportunities. How can you uncover the hidden job market? The answer is… networking, networking, networking. Instead of spending several hours a day looking at job boards, minimize your searching to one hour a day on the job boards and at least one hour a day on networking. Referrals are ranked as a top source of hire for employers and the upward trend is continuing. Therefore, finding ways to be in the referral pool is critical.
Eight steps for successful networking for referral opportunities include:
1. Identify employers for whom you would like to work.
2. Identify which employers have an employee referral program.
3. Research who you know that works there.
4. Invite the person to become first level connections with you on LinkedIn.
5. Begin building a relationship with that person.
6. Request an informational meeting to learn more about their company
7. Send a thank you note for the meeting.
8. Consider the right time to ask them to send your resume to their Human Resources department.
The important piece is to develop a relationship that could result in getting you a referral for the right opportunity when it presents itself. For more details on this strategic approach, read LinkedIn Influencer, Hank Boyer’s post, Networking for Job Referral Opportunities.
Also keep in mind, as there is a hidden job market, employers are also conducting more and more “stealth searches.” Even though the jobs are not posted, employers are still actively searching for qualified candidates. They are “trolling” social media sites such as LinkedIn looking for candidates who possess the skill sets they need in their organizations. Therefore, it is critical that your social media presence is complete and highlights the skills that qualify you for the opportunities you are seeking. Keep in mind, your profile may not get you the job, however it can keep you from a job if it does not.