Competing in the job market is frustrating enough in this day and age, but what is even more discouraging is the knowledge that you may only be chasing the tip of the job opening iceberg. An estimated 80% of senior level executive job openings are never advertised, but instead are filled in-house or by interested parties who have cracked the hidden job market. Here are some strategies for tapping into that market.
1. Change Your Perspective
Step one is to stop thinking of yourself as a person looking for a job and start thinking of yourself as an entrepreneur selling a product (yourself). In doing this, you move away from asking for a job and begin looking for a company that instead needs the product you’re selling. Finding and working with a strong career coach or mentor can help you to get a better perspective on you as a ‘product’ and your value.
2. Label Your Product
In the business world, labels change; your former job title may not even exist anymore. Do your research, use LinkedIn to look at where and what former colleagues and industry contacts are doing, and talk to your career coach and other industry experts to get a heads up on what your skill set is now being called and who is looking for it.
3. Research Your Customer Base
Learn as much as possible about potential customers you have identified. Sign up for Google alerts to let you know when news items are available about them, check their websites, read their press releases. This provides clues as to when they will begin searching the hidden job market as well as information you can use at an interview.
4. Take part in the Virtual Trade Show
Trade shows enable companies to introduce themselves and their products to potential buyers. LinkedIn is like a virtual trade show where you can introduce yourself and your product. Like any trade show, you have to give in order to get; be prepared to spread information and encouragement in order to receive the same in return. In some ways, you will be engaging in amateur career coaching with others there.
Seeing yourself as a product can be empowering. You are not a desperate beggar – you have something to offer. You are a valued commodity and once you understand how to see and tap into your customer base, you will more easily be able to connect with those looking to buy that commodity and gain access to that hidden market.
Arete Executive and Richard Triggs offer a bespoke executive search and career coaching service. If you would like more information or require assistance with your own executive career, please contact Richard on 0403 588 517 or via email [email protected].