I read an interesting column on the Californina Jobs Journal website this morning by David Perry, author of Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters. Perry offers some search engine-optimized tactics for penetrating the Hidden Job Market that are well worth mentioning.
As you (hopefully) know, it is absolutely critical to tap into the Hidden Job Market for maximal job search success. Surely it's old news to you that 85% of all jobs are never advertised in print or online and that only 4% of job seekers who use online search methods actually find jobs through the Internet. Today the savvy job searcher makes sure they implement strategies to get their resume directly into the hands of hiring managers rather than relying on shotgun resume dissemination to produce results.
How can you do that? Perry suggests leveraging the power of Google to source leads and background information. In short, he recommends that you:
- Pinpoint the type of job you want and the location where you want to work.
- Use a search string like [advertising + "new york" + directory OR conference] - with your terms inserted, of course - to source company names in your preferred geographic location. The terms "directory" and "conference" will help you to tap into online directories in your target industry or online listings of industry conference attendees.
- Repeat this process until you have exhausted your list of industries/job functions and preferred geographic locations.
- Now identify the company websites associated with each employer your search turns up and peruse each site to pinpoint the names/job titles of people you can send your resume and cover letter to. You're not looking for names of HR Directors. Instead, you are searching for executives and department heads who ultimately hire in the part of the company you want to join.
- If this doesn't produce the names you need, go back to Google's advanced search box and look for the targeted job title at your targeted company [company name in the first box and job title, i.e., Vice President of Sales & Marketing, in the third box].
- Use the results of this last search to identify all the people who have ever held senior sales/marketing positions in your targeted company and to source other current/past employees of that company with whom you can network.
- Once you pinpoint the name and title of the best person for you to send your resume to, go back to Google's advanced search box and insert the person's name in the first box and the company name in the third box to generate a list of press releases, articles, conferences, and the like involving the executive you are targeting.
- Read a few of these and identify a snippet of information you can quote in your cover letter to that person. Use your cover letter to demonstrate a positive connection between this snippet and your experience or qualifications for the job.