70%+ of jobs never hit the advertised job market. Most people don’t hear about their ideal next role due to lack of awareness. If you are not in the ‘inner circle’ of influence you are missing out on lucrative career moves - don’t let this be you.
I recently coached a candidate to achieve his ideal role with an ‘employer of choice’; this was only 3 months after being rejected by the very same company. This candidate had a successful career track record; but what made the difference was in his approach.
He actively accessed the ‘hidden’ job market - giving him an ‘unfair advantage’ over other candidates. He had a calm, considered confidence and certainty that he could achieve a numbers of offers in a relatively short period of time during this difficult recruitment market.
This is something all of us can do.
How did he achieve this ?
The secret to maximizing your return on job hunting activity is to build a trusted and reciprocal network. It is almost impossible to achieve anything for yourself without helping others. Think of your last business deal. Was it good for your business ? Was it good for the client ? And was it good for you ?
We live in an interconnected and interactive world - utilize these resources to achieve more job opportunities.
A proven 6 step WIN / WIN formula to ensure access to more job opportunities:
1) Which 10 people will most accelerate your career?
These people may be the VP, Head of a function, Director or CEO. Think of individuals within your trusted network (peers, ex line managers, customers, business partners and suppliers) who know these people and ask them for a warm introduction. This social proof influence is priceless – worth more than many colder calls. This gives you access to understanding a company’s business needs, culture and how you can add value.
Which growth industries and companies present the greatest opportunity for you to accelerate your career in the next 2 years? Is the rapidly expanding mobile payments market space an option? What ‘unique value’ will you bring to your next company? Is it your market understanding, network of contacts or your passion for their business?
This up front investment brings significant and profitable returns. Employers want to acquire the best talent for their business as easily as possible. More organisations are proactively talent pipelining. Be visible before a role is active.
2) Identify how you can help
Don’t view yourself as a job seeker, position yourself as a business problem ‘identifier and solver’. Pass on a well qualified lead or a valuable market insight? Networking is about giving - giving and hopefully receiving some returned value in the future. Build relationships based on connecting with people whose behaviour you Trust and Respect. Step outside your current network of influence to explore new connections.
3) Now be flexible
Look for opportunities from every connection - do you spot them each and every time? Keep detailed notes of your progress and refine your actions to keep moving forward. When you meet a connection believe you are professional peers. This ensures that you don’t get star struck or don’t talk down to anyone. These conversation maybe 5 minutes, 30 minutes or 1 hour and could be a one off or develop into ongoing highly valuable relationships.
4) When connecting be fully present
Give your complete attention. When you meet the ‘vital few’ connections view them as a representative of all the people they know. Promote your brand effectively - prepare thoroughly for each interaction and give the best presentation of yourself. 20% of the people you talk to will give you 80% of your desired results, from 10 conversations 2 ‘career enhancing pearls’ could emerge that lead to productive, trusted and reciprocal relationships.
5) Integrate social media
I am consistently logged onto LinkedIn because it is business focused. It is like ‘gold dust’. LinkedIn is a highly valuable tool to identify new job opportunities, keep abreast of job market news and reach new potentially valuable connections. Use multiple business focused social media. Be visible and have a professional profile. Be considered how you use these tools and what you say about yourself and others on line.
6) Network with integrity
Many often forget that when using social networks they are not talking to a computer they are communicating with real people. Think about the individual and whether you would connect with them offline, if a yes then it is probably a good idea to connect with them online. Be engaging, courteous and enjoy the journey of making new connections.
Create and maintain momentum - make the first profitable connection, if you have nothing to lose and everything to gain - I urge you to go ahead and grow your number of job opportunities.
Why not give yourself an ‘unfair advantage’ ?
Adrian Evans is a ‘results achieving’ career coach and an inspiring speaker. In conjunction with being an author, he is the founder of ‘Be a job magnet’ - a coaching and career development academy committed to transforming professionals’ confidence and results.