By Brenda Bernstein
The Essay Expert
Are you a talented professional with amazing accomplishments, but who is getting nowhere applying for jobs through job boards? If so, you are not alone, and you are fighting an uphill battle. The fact is, job seekers get only a 1-3% response rate from the major job boards. That means you might have to send out 100 resumes to get just one response!
There are plenty of jobs out there that are not posted on job boards, and that even your networking contacts don’t know about. The company itself might not even know they want someone like you until you show up! Mary Elizabeth Bradford, who won a Career Innovator Award at the 2011 Career Directors International conference, has packaged a Job Search Success System that will help you present yourself powerfully to find those hidden jobs.
The basic premise of Mary Elizabeth’s system if that you need strategies to connect directly with companies. You cut out the “middle man” (recruiters, HR, job boards, etc.).
Most companies go through at least five steps to fill a position before they will post the position to a major job board. They get on the phone to a few trusted colleagues. They look to see if anyone internal is qualified to be promoted. They alert their staff to refer someone they might know. They launch an intimate campaign to try to fill the position waaaay before the general public is notified. And if after a few weeks, the position is still not filled, perhaps they contact a related association to post the job on their “Members Only job” — or they contract a recruiter. Job boards are a last resort.
Can you break through to the Hidden Market?
Mary Elizabeth emphasizes, “ANYONE (and I mean even if you are right out of college) can enjoy the benefits of the hidden job market. These jobs are available on all levels and in virtually all industries. The trick is to hone your focus so you actually achieve the results you want.”
What are the advantages to you of connecting to the hidden job market? You get more job opportunities, more market leverage, less competition, a shorter interview process and bigger offers. You still might want to send resumes out via the internet as part of your strategy; but why would you focus there exclusively when you can have so much more control over your next career move?!
You might be wondering precisely how to tap into the unadvertised job market. There are three strategies recommended by the Job Search Success System that help you focus on and find great jobs that will never see a major job board.
Tip #1: Have a plan
Launch a proactive job search. Know precisely what you are looking for, then reach out to get it. Know your primary target market(s), primary positions sought, geographic parameters, and timeline.
Tip #2: Pick three main job search strategies for tapping into your market
Here are two examples of techniques you can utilize:
Offer your skills to growing or changing companies: Companies that are expanding, merging, acquiring other companies, rolling out new products or services, or moving are likely to be seeking new employees to help them with their transition.
Make direct company contact: Contacting a company directly 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 tap right into your market of focus.
Tip #3: Manage your job search like a marketing campaign
Make a simple plan to move forward. Pick the hours and days each week that you plan 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, keep things simple and focus on your actions, not their immediate results! This way you can celebrate your initial “successes” – the completions of your daily and weekly goals. The results will unfold elegantly and abundantly and you will enjoy the satisfaction of success whether you are investing in marketing yourself or basking in the warm glow of landing your third or fourth interview!
How are job boards sounding now?