Heading into 2019, the United States is experiencing record lows in terms of unemployment. However, there are many job seekers who find this statistic hard to believe, as they are still struggling to find employment.
One of the reasons job seekers are having trouble is because the methods to find jobs has changed significantly over the last few years. Moving into 2019, many job listings are only posted for a short period of time. If you miss a job listing by even a day or two, it may be too late for you to get your application in. Another difficulty associated with finding jobs has to do with the hidden job market.
The hidden job market sounds much more ominous than it actually is. The term refers to any job opening not published on the traditional job market. Many companies do not list jobs right away, instead relying on other methods to fill the job. If these methods fail, then the company makes the listing public. If you can apply on the hidden market instead of waiting for the listing to become public, you greatly increase your chances of getting a job.
One of the most effective ways to get into the hidden job market is through networking. Networking refers to the active measures people take to build their professional contacts. Most job networks are built of previous employers and coworkers. However, you can also expand your network to include past clients, or even teachers from your college days. Anyone who is on good terms with you and part of your industry helps your network.
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If you do not have a strong network, there are several ways to build one. Consider attending a job fair or professional development event. This lets you speak directly with recruiters and peers in your industry. Most companies send recruiters to job fairs when they have positions they want to fill, or plan to open some in the future. Furthermore, do not forget to use your friends and family as resources to build your network. Even if they are not directly in your industry, you can connect with their network and potentially add to your own.
Many job seekers have a strong professional network, but still struggle to find jobs. This is because having a network is only one piece of the puzzle. You need to actively connect with professionals in your community on a regular basis. Remember, anyone who is in your network is part of many other networks. If you want them to remember and potentially consider you when a position opens up, you need to stay on their radar.
Some job seekers are afraid to admit they are looking for work because they believe their unemployment poorly reflects on them. However, this negative mindset defeats the purpose of having a network in the first place. When you are looking for work, it is critical that everyone in your professional network knows you are looking and are aware of your skills. While you do not have to remind them every day, do not be afraid to ask anyone in the industry for advice and/or referrals.
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In 2019, many job seekers rely on social media to maintain their professional networks. If you do not have a professional social media account, make one immediately. Do not use your personal social media account as a professional one. These areas of your life need to be kept separate. Otherwise, you run the risk your personal life leaking into your professional account, which makes it harder for employers to take you seriously as a candidate. Consider making social media accounts across different platforms. Popular examples include:
Depending on your industry, you may also want to add YouTube and Instagram. Atlhough you do not have to post every day, set aside some time each week to use your social media accounts. Comment on topics that you are knowledgeable about to demonstrate your skills and experience. You can also join other groups related to your industry. If you post frequently and increase your visibility, you may end up running into a recruiter who wants to consider you for a position based on the experience you have displayed.
You do not have to wait for job listings to appear to submit your resume. While most listings are publicly posted digitally, you can always contact a company directly to submit your resume. Many hiring managers hold onto the resumes they receive. The next time there is a job opening, hiring managers look through their pool of resumes to see if there are any standout applicants.
However, one of the downsides to this method is that the resume you give may not reflect your current skillset. This is another reason having a strong social media presence is recommended. Many recruiters regularly research potential candidates before officially contacting them, just to ensure they are still available.
Accessing the hidden job market is not always a proactive process. In many cases, you put your professional information into the job market and hope to hear back from someone. As a result, you may be blindsided with a job interview. In these instances, you need to have a sales pitch ready to explain why you are a good candidate. Preparing a sales pitch is different than preparing for a normal job interview. In a traditional job interview, you have time to research the company and prepare.
When you are put on the spot, you do not have time to do any research, and you may not even know what position you are applying for. In this case, the best you can do is showcasing your strengths and explaining why you are a valuable employee. Your sales pitch can often determine whether you are brought in for a formal interview or no longer considered.
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