In part one of this post, we looked at the facts and fallacies of the hidden job market, including:

  • Why you should consider tapping into it
  • Why you should send your resume to companies that have not advertised positions matching your skills
  • The level of experience you should have in order to benefit from the hidden market

Now I bet you are wondering precisely how to tap into the unadvertised market. There are three strategies to quickly get you started focusing on and finding great jobs that will never see a major job board.

Tip #1: Create a Plan

If you are going to launch a proactive job search (i.e. knowing precisely what you are looking for, then reaching out to get it) vs. a reactive job search (i.e. passively scanning posted jobs, waiting to find the one that fits you), then it’s crucial you know the following things:

  • Your target markets
    (e.g., construction; commercial healthcare development; pharmaceutical; medical device; etc…)
  • Your titles & positions
    (e.g., sales executive; VP of sales and marketing; business development director)
  • Your geographic parameters
    (e.g., can’t leave Minneapolis; all of US; California only)
  • Your timeline
    (e.g., need a job NOW; in the next 30 days; would like to make a change in the next 6 months)

Tip #2: Choose 3 Main Job Search Strategies for Tapping into Your Market

Now that you have your plan, you should be crystal clear on what you want! Here are just a few unadvertised techniques you can utilize:

  • Growing/Changing or Moving Companies: These are companies that are expanding, merging, acquiring other companies, are rolling out new products or services, or are moving. Companies that are actively changing and/or growing give you, the job seeker, an opportunity to offer your skills and strengths in order to help them.
  • Executive Recruiters: Identify executive recruiters that are familiar with your industry and/or level of position. They often have contracts to fill positions, of which the majority will never be advertised.
    • Recruiters won’t be helpful if you are radically changing industries. A recruiter may not be the best source for you as they will be looking for “a match.”
    • Recruiters will be helpful if you plan on staying in your current industry, you have had less than 3 jobs in 10 years, and you look fantastic on paper.
  • Direct Company Contact: The secret here is in the numbers. Contacting a company directly (fully knowing they probably have multiple open positions that are not advertised) is a great way to take leadership and control over your job search. Are you interested in looking at the higher education market in your state, or the top organic food manufacturers in the US, or maybe the fastest growing healthcare oriented businesses in your city? All of these “lists” are accessible to you and allow you to easily tap right into your market of focus!

Tip #3: Manage Your Job Search Like a Professional Project

Once you have determined the best place to gather your resources and your general strategy, you must make a simple plan to move forward. Depending on your time frame, pick the hours and the days each week that you are going to invest in your next career move. Block out those times and stick to them! Honor your commitment to your job search just like you would honor your commitment to your present employer to show up on time each day.

During your job search activity, keep things really simple and focus on the actions you are taking, not the results! That way you can celebrate your initial “successes,” which in the beginning are the completion of each of your daily and weekly goals. The results will unfold elegantly and abundantly and you will enjoy feeling that satisfaction of success whether you are investing in marketing yourself or basking in the warm glow of landing your third or fourth interview! Be careful not to devalue the importance of this tip. This strategy is one of the main points to averting thoughts of despair and feelings of overwhelm.