Finding a job takes a lot more than just sitting in front of a computer all day reading job postings listed on the various job web sites. It doesn’t matter if they’re the big boys like Monster and Careerbuilder or the unique boutique job sites focused on specific job classifications or industries, they are only one piece of the job search puzzle.
Motivated job seekers need to expand their job search. That means finding the hidden job market. It’s the one where jobs exist, but they get filled quickly because someone knows someone who is looking for work.
Networking to Find a Job Never Goes Out of Style
Networking isn’t just about talking to friends, family and coworkers anymore. It’s about job seekers putting themselves in situations which will allow them to meet new people or take advantage of "unlooked for" employment opportunities.
According to a 2009 outplacement industry survey, more companies than ever before are offering some type of outplacement service when they have a reduction in force. In fact, 81 percent of the organizations that participated indicated they offer outplacement support.
Job seekers who have the benefit of outplacement assistance should take full advantage of whatever services are offered. It might seem surprising, but networking with firms that provide this type of service, as well as job seekers from other organizations who may be participating, too, can lead to unseen employment opportunities. Think about it: outplacement services are a great source of candidates for companies that are currently hiring.
Job seekers might also want to attend meetings held by professional organizations in their area such as the National Latina Business Women Association or the Association of Women in Technology. For a good list of organizations, check out Jobing.com.
Finally, attending job fairs is a great idea, but they’re not the only game in town. There are plenty of other business events that offer job seekers opportunities to make connections or develop job hunting skills. Where to look? Job seekers might want to check with their state employment development department (many offer job search classes and events) or job seekers can Google to find out if there are local job search and networking communities in their area.
Use Social Media Giants – LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter – to Find Jobs
LinkedIn is one of the most popular business networking websites. In fact, nearly 80 percent of respondents in a recent survey from Jobvite, a maker of recruiting software, indicated that their company used LinkedIn as a recruiting tool.
And don’t forget Facebook and Twitter. Many employers regularly tweet about their job openings. In addition, there are a variety of job search organizations on Facebook such as HirePlug.com, Speed Dating for Jobs and WorkingCouples.com. Plus more and more employers are also using it to find and vet job candidates.
Researching Local Companies Where Job Seekers Want to Work
Ultimately, one of the best ways to uncover the hidden job market is to contact organizations directly. One of the best steps is to visit their website. But first, job seekers need to know what companies they might want to work for. Check with online resources such as Wikipedia or look for ReferenceUSA at the local library.
The fact is that there are a number of ways to go about a job search – reviewing online job postings, networking, using social media, contacting local employers directly or even working with employment agencies. It’s just a matter of putting in the effort to uncover the hidden job market.