It is becoming common knowledge that the majority of available jobs are never posted. And for the ones that are, sometimes hundreds of applications are received. With anecdotes like this, job seekers may wonder how best to find opportunities and stand out among the masses.
Consider these five less-common job search tactics to help you land that role you’ve been searching for.
Search companies, not jobs.
We all have our pie-in-the-sky ideas of what our ideal job might look like. But if you consider why this dream job would be a great fit, chances are, it’s not just the role itself. Consider what type of job you’d like to have and the ideal culture where you’d like to work. What’s important to you in the company you choose to work for? Start there, and then consider working your way up in an organization that fits the bill. Further, because such a large portion of jobs are never posted, by taking this approach, you also have the chance of landing the job you want – not just the one that’s advertised.
While your resume and cover letter are certainly important places to showcase your skills and experience, don’t let it end there. Nowadays, most employers utilize multiple avenues to find candidates, such as social media and online job boards. Use these as an opportunity to further market yourself, beyond just the typical resume on paper. Consider highlighting your accomplishments and professional recommendations on your social profiles or starting a blog about your industry and interests, if appropriate. Don’t assume a recruiter or hiring manager will stop at just your resume.
Because referrals are often the best and most reliable sources for employers when it comes to hiring, networking can be one of the best ways to find your next position. While it’s great to put the word out to your own connections, you can also find networking opportunities in unexpected places. For instance, if your first job is not your dream job, there may still be individuals you come across who you can impress with your work ethic and adaptability. If your daily life puts you in the position to market yourself directly to key players in your industry, take that chance.
DON’T follow your passion.
We often hear, “Follow your passion,” as common job-seeking advice. While it is important to find a career you’re passionate about to remain happy long-term, that may not be the career you’re imaging now. If you talk to professionals who have maintained a long, successful and happy career, you’ll often find their path didn’t necessarily follow a straight path or already established passion. Instead, many develop a passion for their work as they become more experienced and specialized. This isn’t to say you should ignore your passion entirely, but you may try challenging some of your own preconceived ideas of what the ideal career looks like.
Find a mentor.
Some recommend finding a mentor as an ideal way to start your job search. A mentor can be a good source of referrals, who also has built a solid business reputation for him or herself, which you then benefit from. A good way to find a mentor is to imagine what you would like your career to look like in five, 10, or even 20 years.
Of course, a recruiter can also become a mentor of sorts, who helps you navigate the next steps of your career and recommend you to employers based on your relationship and their reputation.
Visit the ISG Career Center to upload a resume, create a job profile and view current opportunities.