It is time to stop sitting back and start actively seeking out opportunities before they become public knowledge. Are there actually “hidden” opportunities out there and how can you take advantage of them?

hiddenYou need to become a job seeker that seeks opportunities before they go up on the job board and this can be accomplished in a variety of ways. Seeking these hidden jobs can include networking, informational interviewing, cold calling, targeting employers, using a value proposition letter, or by reaching out to employers about potential opportunities before they become public knowledge. Doing these things are advantageous to you because you are limiting your competition by finding roles before they are public knowledge. You are also saving valuable time that you would typically spend searching on job boards.

We all know it is stressful to find the perfect position online in addition to figuring out how to prove to the employer that you are the best fit. The most frustrating part about the entire process is that you may never hear back about the job. That frustration inevitably turns into doubt about your own qualifications for the position. In reality, you may be 1 of 500 applications for that position and it is easy to get lost in the crowd of resumes.

So what can you do? Seek out the hidden job opportunities!

Reach out to companies that interest you. This can be done in a variety of ways: connecting with current employees on LinkedIn, finding out who you know that may already work there and asking for a referral, or reaching out for an informational interview with someone who is in the role you aspire to achieve some day.

Get some information. Find someone in a position you hope to have one day and ask to interview them for a short amount of time; ask questions about how they became successful in their role, what got them to where they are, what advice would they have for someone like you? Most people will take time to talk if you make it brief and are considerate of their time. You can ask questions in-person, arrange a short phone call, or send them questions through email.

Write a value proposition letter. Value proposition letters have been proven to have a high success rate of securing employment. When done correctly a value proposition letter can open doors that networking and resumes may never be able to.

Create a targeted direct-mail campaign. Generate a list of all the companies within your area that you’re interested in working for, put together a list of decision makers, and then send them a copy of your resume and cover letter or value proposition letter.

Be a proactive job seeker and take an active role in finding your next opportunity! Instead of sitting back and waiting for the perfect position to cross your path, go out and find it. Not only can this be a more empowering and less frustrating position to be in, it also may produce more interviews and offers in less time.

Mary Southern, M.Ed