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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!


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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!


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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!


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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!


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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!


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For You or Them?

When I see long, in-depth resumes (and this means three pages or more), I get worried. Why?–because at this length, the resume is more about who you are than what you can do for the employer.

To clarify: The employer, at the time of screening resumes to decide who to interview, does not care who you are.
 

All the employer cares about when they’re sifting through a pile of resumes is finding out, quickly and concisely, what you can do for them.

Juxtaposed with this is the fact that you need to stand out. You want to show them you’re different. I understand. But is telling them about your kids’ interests truly helpful at this point?

Save that stuff for the interview. That is the time to show them what a warm and wonderful individual you are. On your resume, stick to what you can do for them that makes you different.

Example:

1. I have both sales & marketing and production management experience. This makes me stand out to employers, because it means I’ll ‘get’ why and how things happen in different departments within their organization–and how to grease the wheels to ensure they happen more effectively. (If you’ll forgive a gross generalization, in all honesty my perception is this: most people think that they, in their department, work their butt off, and everyone else and especially in every other department is a lazy idiot.) That goes way up top on my resume.

2. I have an interest and training in tarot card reading. This nugget of information has, in fact (I was told so by the person who became my boss for the next four years), helped push the curiosity factor over the edge for the employer to want to meet me. Yet it does nothing to actually help my employer, so it goes at the very end of my resume–if at all.

 

Your resume is not for you.

It is for employers, to assist them in determining that you are a suitable candidate for them to meet. Employers, like everyone else, are self-interested, and want only to know what you can do for them.

Make sure the prime real estate–the top 1/3 of the first page–of your resume isn’t wasted. Keep it clear. How do you benefit them? Keep the warm and fuzzies for the bottom, or the interview.

If you want expertise to help you get started on a winning resume right now, click here.

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


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Are You Black Angus?

Hey, I’ve spent the past four days driving through and hanging out in Montana, Idaho and now Utah. And I can tell you one thing: I’ve seen a lot of black bulls.

A Lot.

Fields and fields of black bovines, standing, sitting, chowing, milling. And here’s the observation I’ve made: you can’t tell one from the other.


Sure, they’re all destined to become great steaks, like the one I had in Salt Lake tonight. I’m certain they’re all tasty meat on the hoof. Yet, just like the resumes of most people, there’s nothing to distiguish one from the other. One black bull looks just like another black bull…especially from the highway.


The employers you’re blasting your resume to are seeing it at highway speed. Odds are you look just like another bull: probably a steak that’s as good as any other, but why should they pick you?

Now I don’t want to sound like I’m ripping off Seth Godin, but what do you think would happen if you were driving down the I-15 and saw a neon red bull?


I’ll bet you’d turn to your passenger(s) and point it out. I’ll bet you’d talk about it.

Let’s get a reaction like this happening for you and your resume. 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!