How to Find Unadvertised Jobs In The Hidden Job Market

Some background here…in November 2009 I moved from Canada to the US. I came from a sales & operations management background. The immigration process blocked me from working until mid-August 2010, and I still needed to make money to survive. So you can bet that upon receiving permission to work in the US, I immediately needed to find a job.

Part of what I did in Vancouver was help people get better jobs by helping them write awesomely effective resumes, and getting their heads straight about how to think successfully during their job  earch.

While I was doing this, I stumbled across internet marketing.  That made me think! I could distill all of the past dozen years of cold calling, sales & business development experience into products that would help other people grow their businesses and make more money. Now I continue to enjoy helping people find jobs they’re a great fit with, so my eyes are always open for new tips and methods.


I don’t usually do this, but Jim Stroud’s content was so good that I had to share it with you. His video on how to find jobs that aren’t advertised is a detailed guide on:

  • how employers are searching for resumes online today
  • how you can take advantage of that
  • how to use google to automate your searching across different job boards
  • how to anticipate that a company is going to be hiring, and network your way in to create the job description
  • how to develop yourself as a subject authority online without needing your own blog, and create full or part time work that way.

The big deal here is not only are you finding and creating roles that others aren’t applying in huge crowds for, but you’re also not tying up hours and hours every day in your job search. By learning a little about google, and automating your search, you can have it do the work and send only the ‘best fit’ opportunities to your email inbox every day. I like that!!

I learned lots of new-to-me things, especially on the google side, and would like to share them with you. Jim has more to offer in other videos, so check them out. Remember, finding work is a full time job in of itself! If you’re simply looking in the newspaper for jobs, you’re competing with too many other people, and missing out on the vast majority of opportunities out there. You must step out of your comfort zone to succeed! That hidden job market is a real thing. Yes, this is a half-hour video, but if you’re not interested in spending the time to educate yourself to be more effective and how to find unadvertised jobs, do you really deserve to get handed that great job?


Seeking killer job hunting tips for a really low investment? Check out my ebook, “Get Hired FAST!


My Job Search Process, Part Three: Don’t Settle

As we started talking about in the post titled “How to Find Unadvertised Jobs In The Hidden Job Market“, I wasn’t allowed to work during the immigration period when I moved to the US. That was almost a year, and when I finally was allowed to work, I needed a job. This is part of the story of how to find work you enjoy.

Most people seem to think of their job hunt as an attempt to minimize the gap in their income stream. This is wrong. Even if the work you’re looking for is at a lower level, if you ever want to improve you have to make your choices more carefully. If you’re working on your career, this applies even more strongly. To clarify: money now is not as important as your work happiness now and in the long run. This is one of three components in a successful and effective job search process.

Let’s take an example. My last job search in Vancouver was pretty quick: in a few weeks I had two offers:

Production Manager at a large steel fabrication plant, where they cut custom profiles for new construction. These are things that help hold the building up. Previously I’d managed the cutting of plate up to 1” thick at a smaller facility; here, it would be up to a foot thick. Very, very high salary.

Business Development Manager for a full-service boutique IT firm. Managed services, custom database projects, network security hardware. These are the nuts and bolts of computer operations. I had no experience in the IT field. Salary: half of the other offer, plus 10% of sales.

It would be easy—and many of you would have, I’m sure—to leap for the big, certain dollars and pick the first role. Let’s consider my choice a little more deeply:

First role—stay in production/operations management, a field I’m trained in but do not love, deepen my experience with plate cutting, scheduling, inventory management and people management. Tough boss with a chip on his shoulder. Work in an industry that hasn’t done anything new in a long time.

Second role—expand my range of knowledge and fields to work in, learn new technical information in a growing industry that changes all the time. Nice boss, good ‘culture’ fit. Work in sales & marketing, a field I do love, and improve my skills in that area.

My decision was easy because I did not settle for more money today at a job I wouldn’t be happy at. Nor would the first role have taken my career in a direction I wanted to go. It would not have made me more appealing to future employers in the business development field.

Let’s look at a more recent case. I did not have any existing offers, and got a call from a recruiter in a city a couple of hours away. They were interested in me for a client’s software sales role that paid on target $60 – $90K. Moving for the right position would not be a problem. After the phone interview, the recruiter was going to set up another call, this time with the hiring manager at the business. Overnight, I thought it over, and in the morning I cancelled.

Why did I do that? During my questioning of the recruiter, I discovered that the role was in a culture of what in the DISC profile is High I’s, meaning the talkative, spinny, creative types, and would be 8 hours a day of cold calling. I don’t mind prospecting, but I do not believe it is possible to effectively and capably call all day long. After three days of it I would be miserable. The role didn’t have enough range of duties to match my interests, nor would it have helped my career. Also, I’m a C, a completely different behavioral type. It wasn’t a fit. So rather than waste my time, the employer’s time and the recruiter’s time, I chose not to settle.

I hope these examples give you the idea of how to start going about thinking when it comes to job offers. Don’t take a thing just because it’s offered to you: human nature makes us want to, whether it’s a handshake or a hand grenade. Be careful about what you select to get involved with, because it shapes your experience, and the perception of employers down the road. Make sure you’ll be happy with the work you do. Don’t settle.

Seeking killer job hunting tips for a really low investment? Check out my ebook, “Get Hired FAST!


My Job Search Process, Part Two: Fight Fear

Continuing from Part One, I’m describing my process for finding work you enjoy. I’m going through it because after almost a year of not being allowed to work waiting in the US Immigration process, I needed a job. You can learn from my expertise on how to keep your mind straight and stay focused.

I’ve gone into this a bit before, here and here. By knowing what you want, and sticking to it at all costs, you will feel more confident. Fighting fear and panic is difficult, I know. However, I have found out time and again that by sticking to your guns, the role you want will eventually come around to you.

I remember driving from the shop to a jobsite with the owner of a metal fabrication shop that I did a lot of work for in the middle of the last decade. We were stressed about meeting our obligations, and getting projects completed on time and to the quality level we and our customers expected. Suddenly, we passed a group of mentally and physically disabled people being taken out for a walk, in their wheelchairs and gurneys, by their aides. The owner turned to me and with a 180-degree change of attitude said, “We don’t have any problems.”

It’s stuck with me over the years. We have the power to choose. We have the ability to try something different tomorrow to get what we want. We can keep fighting. You can, too.

You will draw employers to you with the attitude of “I’m financially independent, and don’t need the job.”

Also, by being clear about what you want and how you provide value, you will be sure of yourself.

Grasping, begging, trying to fit into the mold of what you think this employer wants…these are things that will ‘turn off’ interviewers. They will be polite, tell you nice things, and never call you again. By being centered, patient and certain, you will cause employers to move towards you. After all, when something is scarce, we want it! When you give off signals that say to interviewers “I don’t need this particular gig—I’m going to find one I’m happy at eventually,” they say to themselves, “Uh oh, I’d better get this person on board with me before they go to my competition. There’s something about them that I like.”

Now what about the case where there aren’t any jobs in your town like the one you want? Well, now you have a choice to make. First of all, either it’s true that there are few, or it’s not. Investigate. Ask everyone you know if they know of roles similar to what you want. Keep asking. I’m pretty sure you haven’t looked under every stone.

Second, check for positions which have tasks like those you want to do, and also some others—can you be happy doing what you want 70% of the time, and other things the rest, in order to make a living and advance your career?

Third, you may have to look at moving.

Fourth, how about offering the skill set you want to use in a contractor role?

Fighting fear and panic during your job search can be the most difficult phase. However, if you’re clear about what you want and have to offer, and project the attitude that you don’t need the job (while still loving to do the tasks), you can remain calm and centered. Remember, you only need to defeat fear and be brave one day at a time…perhaps even only a few minutes at a time.

Coming up next, Leg Three: Don’t Settle.

Seeking killer job hunting tips for a really low investment?  Check out my ebook, “Get Hired FAST!


My Job Search Process, Part One: Stand Out

As I started talking about in Back to the Jobhunt, I was finally allowed to work in the US after almost a year of waiting through Immigration. I needed a job, and one I enjoyed–and I’m describing the How To of that process so you can follow it.

Leg 1 of our job search model is “Stand Out.” We want to stand out in order to get the attention of employers, so that they will talk with us. No dialogue = no job offer. We want to stand out also because of our clarity in what we have to offer, and what we want to do. Well-presented specifics result in interviews and offers. Time and again I’ve seen them overcome deficits in experience or skills of the candidate compared to the job description.

Now let me advise you that, on the resume side, my system works best for people applying to small and medium sized businesses. If you’re applying to an institution or large firm like GE, then you’ll have to do something different: load your resume with key words their HR optical scanners are looking for. In my approach, we are trying to get the attention of hiring employers who are actually picking up and looking at hardcopies of resumes.

A word about the difference between hiring managers and human resources: hiring managers are hoping to be wowed; human resources/recruiters are hoping to safely match up experience and skills with job description bullet points. As you’ve probably figured out, I like the former and dislike the latter. In the interview stage, however, what I have to say applies in both situations.

So how exactly do we stand out? First, we must be clear with ourselves about what the role is that we want. Linked to the second leg of the stool, we must stand by that—not give up when things look tough and fall back on something else. I’ve been there, when it looks like you’re never going to find a good match in your field, and you just want to give up and go back to something else. Say you’re just not finding a technical sales role that meets your needs, and so in your fear you’re thinking Why not go back to a factory production role? No! In my experience, if you stick it out just a little longer, the thing you want will come along.

Some tips to Stand Out:

  • In the top third of the first page of your resume, you must clearly and concisely explain to potential employers what you want to do and how you provide value. You can do this in point form, or paragraph form. If you want to ‘hit the highlights,’ use point form. If you want to ‘set the mood’ of what you can do, use paragraph form.
  • Each and every claim you make on your resume must be backed up by numbers or other facts. If you accomplished something but don’t have a record or copy of it, be prepared to get a reference for it. Sometimes, I realize, this just isn’t possible; however, know that they will ask you about the thing you have the weakest support for (it’s Murphy’s Law), and you had better have a plan for dealing with that question.
  • Your resume’s job is to paint a mental picture of what you have and can accomplish for employers, so that they will get excited enough to want to meet you.
  • Do not merely reiterate job descriptions. Show results.

Up next: Leg Two of the metaphorical stool representing my job search model—Fight Fear!

Seeking killer job hunting tips for a really low investment? Check out my ebook, “Get Hired FAST!


Back to the Jobhunt

Like we began talking about in the post How to Find Unadvertised Jobs In The Hidden Job Market, I moved to the US in 2009 and wasn’t allowed to work during the Immigration process. That was the better part of a year. When I was finally allowed to work, I needed a job. So I’ve recorded the process of how I do this successfully and find work I’ll enjoy–so that you can, too.

Let’s get back on the topic of job hunting for a moment. Those of you who’ve read my earlier job search posts know I stress the following:

  1. Standing out to employers by being clear about who you are and what you want to do for them
  2. Fighting fear and panic
  3. Not settling for less than what you deserve.

Those are the “three legs of the stool” in my job hunting model. But why these three concepts?

This combination is what is required in order for you to end up happy. That’s your ultimate goal here: to find a role in which your skills, experience, temperament and desires match up, and you get paid what you’re worth in order to do it.

Sounds simple, right? Unfortunately for you, most people duck out of the process at the first available opportunity—settling for a position that isn’t the right fit, doesn’t match their personality, and/or lacks the remuneration that’s fair trade for the expertise brought to the table.

So you see it’s a three-step process. If you drop out in step 2 or 3, your stool will tip over and you’ll fall to the floor. You’ll end up unhappy.

I’d like to review the steps with you in a little more detail. This will also take care of some questions I’m sure many of you are screaming at the monitor, such as, ”Jason, what the heck about the lousy economy, and there not being many jobs available at all? Shouldn’t I just take what I can get?”

Yes, you should—if that will make you happy. If not, come with me. I’ll detail the three legs of the stool for the Kanigan job search happiness model for you in the next few posts.

Seeking killer job hunting tips for a really low investment? Check out my ebook, “Get Hired FAST!


Take What You Can Get?

If you’ve been following these posts, you know that for the last little while I’ve been harping on “not settling” and “being very clear about what you want” when it comes to work. Just in case you think I’m the only one who thinks this way, here’s Seth Godin’s take on it.

It’s not just me. The exact work you do, the people you surround yourself with, end up permanently slanting how people–potential clients, potential employers–view you. So here are two key ideas about why it’s so important to choose precisely the kind of work you want to do:

1) You’ll be much happier

2) People will see you as you want them to see you.

Few things are more frustrating than knowing this is the kind of work you want to do, yet having your work history football-block suitable employers from seriously considering you for such positions. People don’t make mental leaps. They don’t make connections. You have to spoon-feed them the evidence that you are what you say you are.

If this means you have to suffer and wait for awhile for the right job to come along (and recall an earlier post where I mentioned that the jobs you do tend to suck you into their worlds and concerns making you forget your original goal), I think it is better for you to do that and keep searching for the right fit.

So…what if you’re plain unsure of what it is you want to do?

Take your best guess. Do some research and figure out your personality type and what tasks you would be well-suited for. For example, I’m best at meeting others and beginning relationships, and organizing chaotic situations. I get incredibly bored doing same-old-same-old maintenance duties. And although working with my hands is a pleasant tertiary skill I do enjoy employing on occasion, particularly with crafting artwork, I would feel trapped, underutilized and miserable within a few weeks if I were stuck doing such tasks.

What do you find you like to talk about all day? Mechanics? Contract terms? Plant growth?

If you can determine just these two things, you will be well on your way to focusing on a job that will make you happy, and reflect to the world the kind of person you want to be known as. Need help? Drop me a line If you want expertise to help you get started right now, click here.

Finally, I highly recommend Seth Godin’s blog and his books–he’s on my Cool People page for that very reason.

Seeking killer job hunting tips for a really low investment? Check out my ebook, “Get Hired FAST!


Job Hunting: The Wrong Approach

There’s something I don’t understand. Maybe it’s a product of sloppy thinking, of nobody ever taking people by the hand and explaining it. The issue is this: when the vast majority of people look for work, they get all scared, rushed, and want to take the first thing that comes along. They fall into jobs without any thought as to whether it’s a good fit for them, or if it will make them miserable, or even if in the long run this is helpful to their progression.

Why do you do this?

I don’t. I have made a long study of job hunting, the whats and whys, how things really work. I don’t understand why most people have this weak-kneed reaction and find it very frustrating to witness. Is your sole concern the money? There are plenty of jobs paying about the same amount. Do you really want to get into a situation that, a few months into, you say to yourself about: Well, I really don’t like it here, but I’m staying ‘cause I need the money…

Why do you do this?

Do you feel compelled to repeat the same bland things everyone else has listed on their resumes? How is this helpful? The only way you get an interview call is by standing out. As someone who has been a hiring manager, I simply don’t believe you when you list that you’ve got “exceptional problem solving and communication skills”. I just don’t buy it. Everyone says they have those abilities, but few actually do—and I’ll make you prove it or fail in the interview.

My approach is to define you clearly to employers so that they can quickly determine whether you’re a potential fit or not for them. Let’s say there are 30 jobs available right now in your industry and town. Using my methods, it’s true that maybe 25 employers would screen you out as not a fit. You panic when you read this. But why? You would be unhappy there. Is the lure of some money so great for you? It’s available everywhere. Now look at the flipside. The remaining 5 employers have determined that you, yes you, are most likely a really good fit for them. Because of your specific description of interests and how you will benefit them, you stand above all the other candidates. In other words, your chances of getting one of these 5 jobs is far, far greater than any other candidate’s.

So which situation would you rather have:

30 slow-moving, very diluted chances of randomly ending up on employers’ call lists, probably just to round out a pre-selected number of interviews someone said they’d do (“OK boss, I’ll interview four people, but only one is really any good for us”)?

5 fast-moving, excellent, clearly understandable chances of definitely ending up on employers’ short lists, because they want to talk to you specifically?

Me, I’ll take the 5 sniper-accurate opportunities every time—my job search will be much shorter and I’ll be a lot happier.

What have you been doing to this point with your job search? Diluting yourself down in the frightened hope of generically appealing to everything in sight—and getting left on the bench—or being super clear about who you are and what you bring to the game, and getting good chance after good chance to prove you should be on the team?

If you want expertise to help you get started right now, click here.

Seeking killer job hunting tips for a really low investment? Check out my ebook, “Get Hired FAST!


How To Turn That Panic Volume Down!

So you’re looking for work, been doing so for awhile now, running out of money and things are getting scary aren’t they? You’re in “I’ll Take Anything” mode. Your heart goes up every time someone calls you for an interview, and plummets when you never hear from them again or are told No.

It is my duty to let you know: You’re in baaaaad shape.

The signals you are giving off to potential employers, not to mention the world around you, are clearly and loudly expressing your inner turmoil. Only a desperate, sleazy or unpleasant employer will hire you in this state, and that spells trouble.

We need to turn this around right now.

When you’re looking for work, the frame of mind you’re in directly affects how employers see you. If you are scrambling and needy, they’ll feel it. And they will back away. How do you feel when you go into a store and a (bad) salesperson comes rushing over crying “Can I help you?” You immediately perceive them as grasping, shut down, and move away. “No thanks, just looking.” This is precisely what happens when you, in your panic state, are interviewed by employers.

Where you need to be is the opposite: calm, unruffled, cautious, secure, with many options. Employers will move towards you. They will be attracted. The right kind of employers, too.

“I’m financially independent, and I don’t need the job.”

Say this to yourself. Get it into your head. Imagine what it would be like to have a bank account positively bursting with money. This is the foundation of taking that feeling of calm into the interview with you. An effective attitude will ensure you get hired more quickly.

If you’ve read my ebook, Get Hired!, you know that you produce more value than the employer pays you for. Your work is more valuable than you thought! And if you are clear about what it is that you want to do, you can better express that desire and how you will benefit the employer. That’s one of the key reasons why we don’t stay in “I’ll Take Anything” mode. Otherwise, you look slushy, unsure, without value.

A good resume will create curiosity in employers’ minds. With a sharp metal image of what you do and how you will benefit them, your effective resume will enable you to stand out. They will want to talk to you.

During the interview, you determine whether you are a fit. Maybe this boss would be a bad one for you. Perhaps you like to do things a little different every time, but they’re a by-the-book procedure freak. An interview is merely a conversation to determine fit. It is not the Great Event people seem to want to make it out to be. Don’t get sucked into the idea that the next interview you get will lead to your next job. Who knows, it might be an awful fit and you’d be miserable!

Are you in “I’ll Take Anything” mode? Are you panicking? Follow the instructions I’ve lain out here. They might sound like the exact opposite of what you should do…but how well have you done with your current way of looking for work? In the sales training that I pay for, I am constantly given techniques that appear to be completely the wrong way around; yet they work. I’ve seen it time and time again, enough that I do not question anymore–I just start doing. Don’t be too enthusiastic. Don’t be ready to fall over backwards to get hired. Those things, just like the poorly-trained salesperson, cause employers to move away from you. You are financially independent, and don’t need the job. Be scarce. Be sure of what you want, and how you create value. This will turn your panic volume down to zero, and the quiet confidence you exude in the interview will easily lead towards employers offering you the position.

Final advice: Make sure it’s a good fit. Taking a job just because it’s offered to you could be the worst mistake you’ll ever make.

If you want expertise to help you get started right now, click here.

Seeking killer job hunting tips for a really low investment? Check out my ebook, “Get Hired FAST!