Job seekers everywhere have one goal in common:
Get more job offers at companies they’ve always dreamed of working at. We all want to find a job we are passionate about, at a company we love, as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, we all can’t have everything our way. Reality has a funny way of taking us in a completely different direction, thus setting your job search to a grinding halt.
Submitting your resume to online job applications using sites like Indeed, Monster, CareerBuilder, or LinkedIn, you may find yourself stuck in the infamous job search black hole. This may seem like a frustrating moment in your job search process, but don’t fret. Tapping into the hidden job market is easier than you think. There are many ways to position yourself alongside of people who have access to available positions you may not have realized are right there in front of you. Continue reading below and you will see how easy it is to get more job offers.
How to Get More Job Offers
The vast majority of jobs aren’t posted to online job boards. Today I want to talk about this “hidden job market,” also known as the “invisible job market.”
You may be wondering — How do I apply (and get hired) for a job that I don’t even know exists?!
Here are a few simple tips to help you get started:
1. Attend Freelance Networking Events
Whether or not you are a freelancer, these events can lead to a lot of opportunities. Freelancers often have connections with numerous decision makers at a variety of companies. Making a good impression on a freelancer may lead them to connecting you with one of these decision makers, especially if your skillset fills a gap. For example, there may be a program or application that they don’t know very well or don’t like using that you are really good at. Even if they are the more experienced all around professional, they may be happy to refer you to help their former/current client fill that need.
Another factor to consider is that freelance and contract positions are among the most common to never be posted to a job board, even if the company is hoping to turn the contractor into a full time employee down the line. Contract offers are often created to quickly fill an urgent need—they’re less risky for an employer. But with a growing business, the need for this employee may not go away after 3 or 6 months. If you prove yourself, they’ll want to keep you around.
2. Get Involved in a Community
Job seeker networks
Surround yourself with individuals who are going through the job search just like you. This community of people will walk alongside of you and make your journey much more enjoyable, and you might make some life long friends along the way. They all are searching for jobs like you and will know of positions you may be qualified for that they were not and can suggest people to connect with at their previous job.
I cannot stress this enough: go into these groups with the intention of helping others through their journeys, not just to help yourself. Be transparent and give your experiences and failures to others so they don’t make the same mistakes, and give them the advice and the wins you have made so they can improve themselves as well. What goes around comes around, they will surely return the favor and everyone benefits. Remember: it’s OK to vent in these groups, but no one likes that guy who always complains about his situation and doesn’t actually help anyone out. Don’t be that guy.
Going to the gym every morning was the number one best decision I made in my job search process. Not only did it keep me in shape both physically and mentally, but the networking opportunities at the gym were incredible. Whether it’s while playing pickup basketball, team fitness groups, marathon training, racquetball or yoga, the opportunities to meet new people and grow your network are everywhere. You never know who might be working out at your gym. Just think, no matter where you look, each person is a connection to a least one company. Not only that, but chances are you might run into a few CEO’s and executives while working out.
Churches or religious organizations
A church community or similar religious organization can have a surprising amount of connections to local businesses. Getting involved in a church will help you to form close relationships with people who genuinely want to help you. It’s a great place to meet good people and ground yourself on the important areas of life. Not only that, but churches are often some of the most concentrated groups of diverse people from all around town, creating a wealth of networking opportunities.
Reddit job search communities
r/careeradvice, r/jobsearchhacks, r/GetEmployed, r/jobs If you are new to Reddit, these pages are a fantastic resource for answering questions you may have about your search and best practices. My personal favorite is r/jobsearchhacks. This subreddit consists of current and past job seekers who have found ways around the system to get in front of hiring managers and how to beat ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems). Definitely become a contributor to these communities, there’s a wealth of information and support to help you along the way.
3. Take the “5 A Day Networking Challenge”
In my job searching course, I challenge all my students to grow their network using the 5 A Day Challenge. This challenge consists of creating 5 connections at 5 companies 5 days a week. This may feel like a lot, but you can do it! Challenging yourself daily will help you get more job offers. During the week, use tools like LinkedIn, participate in evening networking events or keep it simple and start up a conversation with someone in line for coffee. On the weekends, you can focus on making connections through your church community, friend group, sports team, or other social gathering. When you think of this as an exercise in “meeting new people,” rather than “networking,” it becomes much more fun and a lot more manageable.
4. Be A Contributor
Follow key LinkedIn influencers and become a regular contributor to the conversation. Add value and advice to the conversation daily. Help those who are asking questions and don’t just comment just to comment (don’t be the “100!! Love your content, follow back??” guy.) Comment in a way that is thought provoking, relevant, and driving the conversation forward.
The one area LinkedIn excels at is your ability to see who works at your desired company, and more importantly their ability to SEE YOU. This is critical in your job search. LinkedIn is your #1 must have tool in your job searching tool belt for this reason alone. Recruiters, employees, and even CEO’s can see how you engage with their company posts. If you are actively engaging in their conversation, chances are likely the right person will notice and want to connect.
5. Turn Your Efforts into Offers
All of this networking is great, but you need to keep your foot on the gas if you’re going to turn your efforts into offers. Be sure to follow up with your new connections. Depending on the connection, this could mean sending your resume/portfolio to them, passing along an interesting article related to your conversation, or an invitation to grab coffee for another chat. The main thing is to keep the relationship growing and developing into a solid connection. The most important thing is that you follow through—don’t leave money on the table!
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