By Hassan Motiwala
Fellow and Features Writer
Tried applying for jobs but not heard anything back? It’s a common, frustrating issue. I want to give you some advice on giving yourself an advantage even before you apply! Wait, what? No way, Hassan! Yes way, my awesome jobsearchers. It’s time to access…the Hidden Job Market *intense dramatic music*
Raise your hand if you visit sites like Indeed, Reed, Jobsite etc. and apply to as many jobs as you can. Ok, you have to trust me on this but the majority of you have your hands up which is exactly the problem. Looking at some simple analytics, searching ‘jobs’ on Google will immediately bring up Indeed, Monster, Jobsite and Total Jobs within the top 10 searches. So how do we stand out without being lost in the crowd? Initiative.
Why initiative? It’s your ability to start something through choice, such as directly contacting employers to ask them about potential roles. This immediately puts the spotlight on you and grabs the employer’s attention.
About 70% of jobs were found on the hidden job market previously, the number has somewhat reduced recently. While this is a great sign, it doesn’t change the fact that networking is still one of the most powerful forms of job searching.
We need to take the first step and contact employers directly, but how? Try to find out who is responsible for recruitment (Linkedin is great for some research) otherwise contact the HR department. Whether specific or potential roles, explain how your background and experience make you the ideal candidate.
Personally, I send my CV and a short cover letter of why I’m suitable for the role. Different industries require different methods but overall, send off your CV and provide information on why you should be considered. Don’t limit yourself to a formal interview, a coffee and chat can open many doors.
Another way to contact employers directly is to expand your professional network. Linkedin and other social media are great ways to connect with professionals related to your career. Send a polite message across explaining why you want to connect.
I know it’s scary contacting employers directly. You might worry about embarrassing yourself or saying the wrong thing but as long as you remain professional and showcase your amazing personality, you should have nothing to worry about.
Now that you’re armed with this knowledge of…the hidden Job Market *More intense dramatic music*, you can start putting yourself out there. Arm yourself with confidence and a positive attitude. You’ll never know what could be until you try!