Peninsula Small Business Talk

from the Peninsula Executives Association


Guest Post: Finding the REAL Job Market (part 2) with Richard Phillips, Advantage Career Solutions

Thanks to Richard Phillips, Advantage Career Solutions for writing our guest blog posts this week!  Catch up with Part 1 HERE.

Finding the REAL Job Market (part 2)

We left off on Monday talking about the problem of finding hidden jobs.  Richard told us that, fortunately, it is possible to find and access that 80% of jobs that are hidden.  Here’s how:

1.  Define your preferred work role and setting

First, you need a clear definition of the work role and setting that meets your criteria for satisfaction and that utilizes your skills and experience.  You may already be very clear about what you are looking for, or you may need to do some assessment and research to clarify your role and setting target.

2. Focus on setting rather than role

Next, instead of concentrating your efforts on looking for a job role, focus on looking for an employment setting.  For example, in identifying your ideal work role you decide that you want to use your in-depth knowledge of left-handed gizmo tooling in the role of Director of Gizmos.  In defining your ideal work setting, you know that you want to remain in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Further, you would prefer working for a mid-sized company with rapid growth prospects because you like being in that kind of dynamic environment.

3. Create an employer “Short List”

Given these criteria, your job search just became much more focused.  Your next move is to find all the mid-sized, rapidly growing left-handed gizmo manufacturers in the Bay Area. Finding these employers is an infinitely easier task than finding a job because while 80% of jobs are potentially hidden, close to 100% of viable employers are clearly visible to anyone with rudimentary internet search skills.

4. Check for visible jobs

Once you have created your “short list” of potential employers, you then need to determine if any of them have posted a suitable job in the visible job market.  Probably the easiest way to do this is to check the company website “Careers” section.   You may get lucky and find a listing you can apply to.  If so, move as quickly as you can.  Many jobs don’t get listed on company sites until late in the process because the hiring manager may have already looked for and be interviewing qualified candidates found using other methods.

5. Access the hidden job market

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t find a listing on the company site or a job board. Many hiring managers will first use other methods to find qualified candidates.  These methods include:

  • Asking current employees and colleagues for recommendations.
  • Posting the job on the internal “employees only” website.
  • Posting the job on membership sites run by professional associations.
  • Hiring a search firm to find candidates.

Gaining access to these sources of job leads can be a challenge, of course.   However,  some basic strategies will help, including:

  • Asking network contacts for introductions, advice and help.
  • Finding a current employee who will check the internal job listings for you.
  • Listing companies of interest on your LinkedIn profile.
  • Having a strong LinkedIn profile that will interest search firms.
  • Making “cold contacts” directly with your targeted companies.

By following this process, you will enhance your job search effectiveness enormously because you will be covering both the visible and hidden job “markets.”  Hopefully, you will come close to covering 100% of the possible openings.  And maybe, you will be the first to know about an opening that’s just right for you and so have the hiring manager’s attention all to yourself!


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