Nine Hidden Job Market Secrets
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Nine Hidden Job Market Secrets
By Debra Feldman / JobWhiz.com
Fortunately few executives acquire sufficient experience to call themselves job search experts. With luck, they move from one challenge to the next without having to master job hunting. In an ideal world, just about when an individual decides they want change, a new, appropriate opportunity miraculously presents itself complete with conveniently acceptable terms.
In reality, it's more likely that a proactive job search effort will be necessary. Worse, the results may not match their preferences very well and then owing to financial or family-related concerns, they end up taking a job which involves critical compromises.
What can you do to avoid the shock of suddenly being forced into the job market? Start job searching strategically before you need a new career opportunity. Planning ahead offers more control over the timing and specific details, as well as being able to prepare and develop the most effective approach for securing a good match.
Here's how to prepare in today's highly competitive and complex environment.
1. Identify yourself as the expert go-to resource. Don't leave it to a potential employer to figure out what your value is to them. You have one chance to present your qualifications. Hiring managers must conclude from your introduction that you are someone they need to know better. Keep your message simple; what's in it for them.
2. Target employers likely to appreciate your background. To stand out, choose a niche and present your credentials to a strategically chosen few who can appreciate your abilities. Focusing on the specific needs of a limited group of employers and commanding their attention produces better results than if you try to spread your search far and wide.
3. Define your goals. Focus your search. Name specific employers that have outstanding reputations or select prospects that intrigue you with their mission, products, services and partnerships. These employers and individuals comprise your project goals. You can expand your list to include companies chosen for characteristics like location, industry sector, size or ownership status. Limit your project scope to a manageable number of employers with whom you can "network purposefully" encouraging relationships and credibility. Expect that these connections will provide inside tips about career opportunities, cluing you into corporate changes that produce new positions and create vacancies.
4. Create your value proposition to attract interest. Don't try to adapt to suit every possible opening in order to get a job. You dilute your strengths and thereby lower your cachet as the expert with the best qualifications.
5. Customize your presentation for each opportunity. This is well worth the extra preparation because you will more clearly communicate your value proposition by addressing the specific needs of each prospect and communicating that you are the perfect solution for their needs. Remove any doubt that you will deliver 100 percent and demonstrate that you are low risk by promoting trust and increasing interest in you as the perfect candidate.
6. Dollarize your value. What is your specialty? What do you do better than others with similar credentials? What can employers expect from you to improve their bottom line, manage customer relationships better, increase sales volume, widen profit margins or reduce expenses while cutting costs?
7. Connect with the hiring authority. Stay on the decision maker's radar. Be remarkable and memorable. Even the most well crafted resume cannot be guaranteed to open doors and bypass corporate gatekeepers. Take advantage of personal referrals, friendly recommendations and confidential inside leads; these all depend on establishing and maintaining interpersonal relationships. Spend almost all of your job search time working contacts. If your network is not producing appropriate job leads, then expand beyond your existing contacts by designing a network purposefully for your campaign project and implementing this plan establishing new connections.
8. Personally meet hiring managers. Follow up relentlessly. Your goal is for the appropriate hiring manager at each of your target companies to know who you are and understand your potential value contribution. If there is not a current position available, stay in touch because organizations are constantly in flux with new staffing needs generated continuously. Keep networking! Ask for referrals to others that you don't already know both internally and elsewhere. Follow up on every lead on a regular basis and keep your network alive even after you start your new job so that you are in the loop for future positions and are considered a top candidate even when you are not actively seeking a new challenge.
9. Network purposefully. What's the best way to penetrate an organization? Connections. Find an associate or acquaintance you share with your target contact and have this person arrange an introduction. Make it easier for the connector by providing a crisp synopsis of your potential value and endorsing your credibility. Write out bullet points to help them present you, examples showing what you will do for their success and why you chose this organization.
Don't know anyone to set up an appointment for you? Make a cold call and enlist the help of their assistant or a junior associate. Don't say that you want to learn about upcoming job opportunities or ask about available jobs. Stress your interest in sharing ideas and be sure to convey that you have something to offer in return for their time and generosity.
Do you hesitate to make that call or ask for help getting introduced? Don't you enjoy helping others in different ways, whether it is making a donation, lending a hand or giving advice? The business world operates on the principle of reciprocity.
It is not just what you know, but who knows you. If you don't let people know what your job search goal is, you are leaving your future to fate. Network with a purpose to connect with individuals who can introduce you to those with access to new opportunities that match your specifications.
Debra Feldman is the JobWhiz. She designs and personally implements swift, strategic and customized senior level executive job search campaigns, banishing barriers that prevent immediate success. "Network Purposefully" with the JobWhiz and compress your job search into mere weeks, using groundbreaking techniques profiled in Forbes magazine. You can contact Debra at www.JobWhiz.com to expedite your executive ascent.