Landing a new job today isn’t getting any easier. Too many people are unemployed, which means that every job listing attracts hundreds of resumes. To stand out from the competition, you have to know where to search for jobs.
And increasingly, that means asking your friends, family members, and past co-workers for help.
The Hidden Job Market
The surest way to find a job today is to locate those positions in the hidden job market. These are the jobs that never make it to the online job boards or your newspaper’s classifieds section. These jobs aren’t advertised. They’re filled thanks largely by recommendations from one trusted business person to another.
Here’s how to make a dent in this hidden job market: Tell your friends, family members, former co-workers, and past bosses that you are looking to make a professional job change. Tell any local business leaders – company owners, chamber of commerce executives, career counselors – who you know that you are in the job market looking for new work.
The Power of Your Network
You might be surprised at how fruitful this can be. One of your friends might know of a department at her company that is looking to expand its staff roster. A former co-worker might know of a client who is opening a new division of his business and is looking for people with your exact job skills. That Vice President with the local chamber of commerce might be willing to personally introduce you to his friend, a senior manager at a publishing company with which you’d love to work.
When searching for a job, then, it’s important to tap all of your available resources. And more often than not, your network of friends, former business associates, and local community leaders is a more powerful one than you realize.
The Right Approach to Finding a Job
Compare this approach to finding a job with the traditional methods of haunting the online job boards and blindly sending resumes in to every help-wanted ad you can find. The companies behind these ads are being inundated with job applications today. You can bet that many companies don’t even open all the letters or e-mail messages that they receive from hungry job seekers.
So which of the above job search strategies seems more likely to bring positive results? Networking with your connections, of course. In today’s competitive hiring market, it remains the best way to find new work.
If you need advice on where to search for jobs, be sure to sign up for our Get Hired Boot Camp. Our career counselors can give your job search efforts the boost they need.