Finding the "Hidden" Job Market

Thumbnail image for Misc August photos 002.jpgEvery day I hear
from job seekers that the college they attended has not been helpful in aiding them
find a job.  There is a growing concern
whether the universities are doing enough to package their students for the
most challenging job market in decades.

It's not just the
students who have recently graduated that are complaining, but also alumni that
have long graduated from their university that are running out of options and are
asking their former schools for help.
One thing for sure is that the Career Services and the Alumni department
are short staffed and overworked.

Last Fall, the Roosevelt University's Alumni group here in Chicago (
hosted an informative forum for their alumni called, "Navigating  Your Career". 
I was fortunate to be able to join the three person panel with the
topic, "(10) Tips for Finding the Hidden Job Market".  I'll share with you the first three tips in
today's blog.

Tip #1 is to consider
contacting companies that you have interviewed with in the recent past (no
longer than six months) that you were a final candidate for a job. Sometimes, the
candidate that was hired wasn't the right choice and the position is still
open. Stay in touch with the hiring managers you interviewed with. If they
liked you enough to bring you in for a number of interviews, you were a good
fit for the company and even if the position you originally applied for isn't
open, maybe something else is that matches your skill level.

Tip #2 is to make
sure you reconnect with not only former bosses but also co-workers and
subordinates that know the quality of your work and the expertise you can
provide. These are people that can get you into a company and know what jobs
may be available that are not currently posted. Many companies have internal
candidate referral programs and your former co-worker could benefit by
referring in a possible hire.

Lastly, establish
an Advisory Board.  Consider this your
personal Board of Directors that you depend on for information, mentoring and
support. These are successful people in your given industry that you respect
and can depend on to give you as honest assessment of your skills and the
industry you work in. These are not people you ask for a job.  But, they are a tremendous resource of
contacts and potential leads for jobs.

Consider these tips
and take out your rolodex, once again. 
List your contacts of former co-workers and possible mentors.  If you have been very close to getting a job
with a company, give the hiring manager a call and let them know you are still
available.  You can never be too
aggressive in this competitive market.

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