The majority of job seekers looking for a job on online job sites or through internal postings. Researchers tell us that at least 85 percent of employers never advertise available positions with the company. These make up the hidden job market. Here are some creative ways to use your resume to tap into that hidden market:

  1. Supply a copy of your updated resume and business card to every contact who may lead you to a job opening. The more informed your contacts are about you, the more effectively they can promote you.
  2. Set up information-getting interviews with key decision-makers in companies in the industries where you most want to work. Leave your resume or business card with them.
  1. Target organizations/companies you’re attracted to and deliver resumes personally or email them with a letter expressing your interest and motivation. Indicate you will follow up with a phone call shortly.
  2. Use your resume to acquire a volunteer position you want to gain experience in a particular area.
  1. Contact personnel agencies or executive search firms in your area. Becoming part of their applicant inventory may lead to the referral of a job that you wouldn’t otherwise have heard.
  2. Contact professional associates regarding job leads if you’re in a field where there is an established professional association. If they publish a newsletter or journal, watch it for opportunities. Consider placing an ad promoting your services and strengths. Attend association meetings to continue your networking.
  1. Resist the temptation to email or mail out your resume. The more employers you can meet personally, the better. Instead, write a broadcast letter or letter of inquiry expressing interest in an organization. Stimulate their curiosity by offering yourself as a resource. Tell them enough about your background to influence them to want to see you. Offer to bring your resume when you meet. Promise to follow up with a phone call to establish a meeting time.
  1. If you plan to be self-employed, you need to create a promotional brochure or flyer to introduce yourself to prospective customers and to establish your credibility.

A Tip About Timing:

Many job seekers convince themselves that there’s not much happening in the job market just before or during holidays. Or they wait for the career ads on job search sites and don’t bother to network or prospect new hidden opportunities through relationship-building and to develop warm contacts. Warm contacts can be a handy job search tool.

Some employers advertise during the week. And there are employers who, when faced with a vital position vacancy, are not going to delay replacement until mid-January. When you respond to ads in these situations, you will have a competitive advantage because the competition is much lighter.

Perseverance, creativity and resourcefulness are essential to successful job search. The better-written resumes you have circulated, the more likely you will be invited to interviews and receive job offers! Commit to working full time at getting work.

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.

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