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How to Network and Find Unlisted Job Openings Before Anyone Else

Job Search networking handshake

Job-search networking requires you to offer as much as you take. Don't just hit up your contacts, offer to help them make use of your contacts.

If you are currently searching for a job, networking has never been so important. It’s not enough to have a large network of industry and former work contacts. You must be able to provide value to your network by not only hitting contacts up, but offering to help others use your contacts to benefit their own job search.

Think of networking as a conversation. A conversation that has give and take. If it’s all take, there won’t be a lot of value added to your contact. So make yourself useful.

In a recent article, “How to Find Unadvertised Jobs and Use Unofficial Recruiting” on TheLadders’ Career Advice, executive agent Debra Feldman gives a heap of advice on how to network for jobs that are not advertised. She provides tips that will give you an inside edge. As Feldman writes, these days “it is not just what you know or even who you know but who knows what you know.”

From the same article:

Here’s how to jump-start a campaign targeting the unadvertised or hidden job market.

1. Assemble a list of target employers. Conduct research to identify prospective companies.

2. Be proactive! Initiate contact with the hiring decision-maker. The preferred method is to obtain an introduction through a mutual contact such as a company insider, a former or current employee, trusted colleague of a hiring decision maker, respected consultant or professional adviser.

Network purposefully to develop relationships designed to establish referrals and access insider information. If you don’t have a common contact, cold calling is an effective means to get attention and start a conversation if the value proposition is compelling and meaningful to the recipient.

3. Develop a remarkable value proposition to command attention from employers. Generate trust and show an ethical character. The trick is courteously to remain front and center as the reliable solution to be remembered as new needs or challenges surface.

4. Follow up on a regular basis. Polite, persistent pings move the process forward. Offer assistance. Share an idea. Send a link. Stay on the decision-maker’s radar. Build trust and encourage interaction beyond the first contact.

Networking is all about being generous, not merely taking from your contacts. Be respectful be sure to offer your network something useful, be it a contact or information.

(Handshake by lewis chaplin via Flickr, CC3.0)

For more advice on networking in your job search:

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One comment for “How to Network and Find Unlisted Job Openings Before Anyone Else”

  1. Finding jobs for a college student has been easy since the college helps you do that. I hope with the help of job boards like The Ladders I’ll be able to advance quickly after my graduation.

    Posted by college student | September 3, 2010, 1:23 am

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