For most job hunting today, there are too few jobs and too many applicants. Moreover, statistics show that 4 out of 5 jobs are not publicly advertised. What is necessary is to plug into the “Hidden (non advertised) Job Market” and do so in the most effective manner.
That approach is a form of cold calling employers or what specifically I call “direct personal job marketing“. It is a proven means of finding employment and here is an outline of its basic principles:
One: do your research. Be prepared. Before you start calling, be clear on what specific skills and experience you can offer employers and what specific types of jobs you want. Then make a list of specific employers who can use your skills and whom you would like to work for.
Two: Contact those companies and find the name and phone number of the person you would work under or directly hire you (but not the names of those working in the Human Resources department). This will take some doing, but this is an important step in the process.
Principle three: then create a simple phone script, including introducing yourself, asking if this is a good time to call and have a brief conversation, then stating the reason for your call: an informational interview. Once they agree to chat, then state that you want to find out what the particular job title (you have an interest in) entails at their company, then briefly state your relevant skills and experience, then
ask them if know of any companies that are now or in the future looking for someone with that skill set.
Four: then start cold calling. Be patient and persistent but not pushy. Use your script when speaking with the desired individuals and do so briefly- take no more than 5 to 10 minutes of their time. Important: do not ask for a job directly. If they say they know of one, ask where you can send a resume.
If they say they are unaware of one, ask again if they have any suggestions. And at the end, you might ask if it’s appropriate to contact them again, say in two to three months.
Five: keep at it. Keep calling the companies and keep networking.
Six: good idea to have at least part time work while you are looking, even if it is volunteer work. This supports your morale and also shows an employer that you are a person of self initiative.
Principle seven: get support while you are job hunting. Don’t do it merely in isolation. Have friends and maybe even a job coach you can talk with regularly about your job search.
Last note: yes, this approach takes boldness but once you practice you will find it is much easier than you think. Most employers you talk with understand and sympathize with the challenge of finding a job, and are happy to give you a little of their time. And if you come from offering your skills and experience to benefit a company, rather than “I need a job”, you will find that somehow the universe will conspire to support you. Finally, more elaboration of this approach in my next article.