Years ago when I was in high school, I remember my
introduction to the world of work through summer employment. I
found my jobs through word of mouth and inquiry. The employers did
not post help wanted signs or place an ad in the newspaper. This
was an early lesson in life regarding the “hidden job
market” which can be a hard nut to crack.
Is the internet now the preferred solution? The answer is yes
and no. While surfing company websites or applying to jobs found
with an online career search engine, it is necessary to employ a
multi-strategy approach to expand your search. The internet is a
wonderful tool, but it does not replace some of the traditional
methods that require you to be more active. While you wait for an
internet job posting or a response to your online application,
which may not happen, here are additional strategies to keep the
momentum in your job search:
Job openings or projected openings may exist at a company but
they initially appear as “inhouse” only. Do you know
anyone who works there that could share what they know? Keep the
employer on your radar screen and call human resources every few
weeks to see if you can learn more about the future hiring
Cold calling is about making a connection. If you really want
to work there, pick up the phone and call. In some cases, you might
stop by and ask to talk to the manager, but pick a time that is
reasonable. This is about showing up and being
Expanding your networking and getting out of the house or away
from the computer screen is helpful. Can you chat with a friend for
coffee, meet with your pastor, talk with a neighbor, tell your
hairstylist you are job searching, attend a job support group, or
mention you are job searching to your child’s soccer coach.
People who know you can be a referral source. Some of this
conversation involves moving out of your comfort zone.
Send a letter of inquiry and resume. Tell them what you could
do for them and that you would enjoy the opportunity to discuss
potential opportunities for employment. Follow up with a call. This
is about “nothing ventured, nothing gained” and trying
to stay unattached to the word, no.
If you are interested in an employer that keeps a low profile
or closed door, you need to be assertive, professional, and
persistent. Continue to build your resume with additional work
experience and professional development. This might be your
“dream job” so continue to groom yourself for a future
opportunity and be realistic.
Yes, the old saying about not putting all of your eggs in one
basket, the internet, does apply in today’s job search. If
you try the multi-strategy approach, you will improve the
probabilities of a successful outcome.