by Joyce Fortier-Paxton, Professional / Executive Resume Writer & Coach
With November here, many job seekers I talk with are thinking about putting their job search aside until after the holidays. Their thought is that companies will slack off and not be seeking new employees until next year.
I have found the exact opposite is true. Companies are gearing up their employee searches now so that new employees will be hired and in place when the New Year begins. Budgets for many companies open up at the first of the year and the companies want their staff in place so they can hit the deck running.
NOW is the time to ramp up your job search. Now is the time to focus on the companies where you want to work and send your resumes to them. And, by the way, when you send out your resume, don’t forget to follow-up. It is your responsibility to follow-through, not the prospective employers. If you TAKE ACTION NOW, you have a much greater chance of landing a job for the New Year.
1) Your first step is to have a resume that is a “10” – one that shows your value for the job you want. How do you do that? Know your target – think like the employer. When you are in the market for a new job, promotion or raise, you need to think like the decision maker. What problem does that person have that they need fixed? How does your skill set help them achieve their goals? What have you done, or what can you do to make their job easier? How can you significantly contribute to company objectives? When you help them get whatever they want, they will more than likely help you get what you want.
2) Your next step is to search the Hidden Job Market for opportunities. While estimates vary as to how big the hidden job market really is, most people tracking these things agree that it makes up about 75% of total employment opportunities. Yet, many job seekers have their heads stuck in the job board postings that make up about 3% to 5% of job opportunities, and really yield few results. So you see, you have a much higher chance of landing the right job when you seek out the hidden job market – there are many more jobs and there is much less competition.
3) Finally you have to navigate the Hidden Job Market.
- Focus on several target companies you would like to work for, rather than on specific job openings
- Research these companies, thoroughly, finding out what their challenges might be and learning about the people who can help you get in the door – look on the Internet, in general publications and trade journals
- Look for articles written by people who work at your target companies and begin building relationships with them by email, LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook – ask them to recommend others who might talk with you
- Talk with vendors, customers and employees of your target company – they can often tell you about upcoming jobs and opportunities (these are the hidden sources in the hidden job market)
- Finally, call the target manager at each of your chosen companies – briefly explain who you are, what you know about their business, and how you might help with some of the challenges they are facing. Ask for a 12-minute meeting so you can demonstrate your ability to contribute to the bottom line – stick to 12-minutes. Be prepared to offer ideas and solutions the manager needs.
Using this approach works – it can lead a manager to create a new job for you, once you’ve shown how talented and self-motivated you are.
***I want to make sure you have every opportunity to get calls for the jobs you want – in order to do this, you need to start with a stellar resume – so I am offering you a complementary resume critique – I know what it takes for a resume to get results! Just email your resume to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and put “Resume Critique” in the subject line. I will then critique your resume. I look forward to hearing from you in comments on the blog: http://wp.me/pseG4-71.***
With over 20 years experience, Joyce Fortier-Paxton is an expert in career transition coaching and job search strategies that focus on the hidden job market, giving you advice that works magic, and providing you with guidance that brings optimum results.