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Communications Design Industry Discussion, Inspiration, & Tutorials

Jun 5, 2012

Using the Invisible Job Market


If you haven’t heard, the online job marketplace is extremely competitive. Hundreds, maybe thousands of potential candidates can view and apply for the job that you want. In light of this fierce competition, some job seekers may fare better using the invisible job market. 

What’s that?
The invisible market refers to the job openings that never appear online.To find the Invisible Job Market consider doing one or more of the following things:

Social Networking Use social media to make those key connections. Let’s say you already know where you want to work. Find a hiring manager/ department head on LinkedIn and follow them. Once you have found this contact, see where else they interact online. Following them on Twitter is not a bad idea. Now that the connection is made, keep an eye on their social channels. If they post any jobs on the social sites that do not appear on their company’s site you’ve found a hidden job!

Get that Referral Another great way to tap into the invisible market is through referrals in your own network. LinkedIn groups are great place to ask the question, “Y’all hiring?”  Ask your contacts names and positions to help you on your search.  Trolling your contacts on Facebook works much the same way. In real time, speak with friends in your respective field. Ask these contacts to help you set up introductions with hiring managers, and other decision makers. Even if the company isn’t hiring right now, making a good impression with these people may lead to hearing about a job opening before it ever gets posted.

Make a Cold Call Drop in/forward your resume and portfolio link to a company where you want to work, whether they have a job opening or not. To be successful,  you must research the company, and tailor your resume and interest letter to fit their requirements. A good place to start is with old job postings by this company.

On a personal note, my director gets one or two of these per year and they do not end up in the circular file. Instead we keep hold of the resumes in case I need additional graphic design help.  So far, this cold-call method hasn’t landed anyone a permanent job in my company, but it leads to potential freelance assignments.

There's a 1 in 10 chance that you'll garner a response using this method. If you don’t hear back, you make contact by phone or emil in a couple weeks. This approach takes patience but it may grab the attention of a potential employer.

Lock Down an Internship Working as an intern is a great way to see if you are a good fit for a company. It’s potentially a great way to land that unposted job. When a company recognizes that your work is an asset to them, they may carve out a permanent position to keep you on staff.

What do you do to improve your chances of becoming an employee?  Go above and beyond their expectations. Learn new tasks, meet deadlines, save them time and money money, and show genuine interest in the company. These keys will improve your chances of making the transition from intern to employee.

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