Finding Unadvertised Jobs

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This simple but effective strategy will help you find unadvertised jobs online and in your local newspaper. With a little bit of creative thinking, you'll be able to discover leads before companies advertise the vacancy.

When most people find themselves looking for work, their first thought is to look for ads online or for newspaper ads.

While it is reasonable to spend some of your time searching for advertised jobs, it is wise to spend the majority of your time looking for hidden jobs.

With a little bit of detective work, you can find unadvertised jobs online and in your local newspaper.

Look for Evidence That a Company Might Be Hiring

When you read through your local paper or review information specific to your industry online, always ask yourself how the information you are reading applies to your job search.

Imagine, for example, you read a story online or in your local newspaper about a local business, or a company that interests you, that is developing a new product line or moving into a new market.

That information is evidence that the company is growing, and it is a clue that they might need to hire new staff.

Or, imagine you read a story in your local newspaper or online that a company is coming to your area. Although they haven't advertised their job openings yet, that information is also excellent evidence that the company will be hiring in the near future.

This phase of searching for unadvertised jobs online and in newspapers is fairly easy. Simply ask yourself every time you read an article about local businesses or a company in your industry, "What, if anything, does this information have to do with my job search?".

The next step is a bit trickier, but it is crucial.

You must act on that information immediately.

Contact Those Employers, and Use Your Research to Instantly Build Rapport

Once you have found evidence that a company might be hiring, do not wait until you see a job ad for the company.

The company may fill the job openings without ever advertising them.

Even if they do advertise the job opening, if you wait until the company posts an online job ad or a newspaper job ad, you will be forced to face a lot of competition for the job.

If you act immediately on evidence that a company might be hiring, before a job is ever advertised, you could land the job with little competition from other job seekers.

Contact the Employer in Person or by Phone

This job search strategy is like cold calling, but it is modified to give you more chance of success than you would have with random cold calling because:

  • you have evidence that the employer might be hiring
  • and you have some information to help build rapport with the employer.

Once you have evidence that a company might be hiring, contact the employer.

Don't limit yourself to advertised jobs. Your local paper can help you find unadvertised jobs too.

It is usually best to go in person whenever that is possible and appropriate. If it is not possible or appropriate to visit the employer in person, a phone call is usually the second best option for contacting the employer.

Visiting the employer in person or calling the employer are far better options than emailing the employer or just sending a resume. (See the article Cold Calling for Jobs for tips on how to visit or call the employer.)

By talking with the employer, you will be able to establish some rapport in a way that you cannot do through email or by simply sending a resume. That rapport building opportunity can go a long way to getting you closer to a job offer.

You Might Have to Work a Bit to Find a Contact Person

A job developer I worked with used this strategy frequently with a great deal of success.

A job developer's job is to find unadvertised jobs for his or her clients. They usually develop a lot of good business connections, but they also do a lot of cold calling.

Instead of making random cold calls, the job developer I worked with would start the morning by reading the business news section on the local paper and looking for clues that companies in the area might be growing and, therefore, hiring.

She would then call up the companies and introduce herself, mention she read the article about them in the local paper (a good way to build rapport) and ask if they had any job openings.

When she used this strategy, she had excellent success and found far more unadvertised jobs than she found through random cold calling.

If you don't have contact information for a potential employer, for example, if a company is opening a new branch in your area, try contacting the branch of the company that is closest to your area.

For example, if a new building supply store was opening in your city, and you were interested in working there, but you didn't know who to contact for a job, you could call the branch of that store that was closest to your city.

Often, when a company opens in a new location, the staff in the branch closest to the new location are involved in launching the new location, so there's a good chance they will be able to give you information about the hiring procedure for the new location.

Another alternative is to contact your local Chamber of Commerce or your nearest employment resource center. Staff there might be able to provide you with contact information for employers that are coming to your city.

Use Your Research to Build Rapport

When you do research online and in newspapers to find evidence that a company might be hiring, not only do you get to avoid making completely random cold calls, but you also have a great way to open up a conversation with the employer.

When you visit or call the employer, go dressed to make a good impression. Start by introducing yourself, and then mention you read the article about their company (let them know where you saw the story). You might also mention something about the article that impressed you.

From there, you can ask the employer if the growth of their business means they will be hiring new staff and mention your interest in working for the company.

Not all employers you meet in this way will be in a position to hire, but some will, and this strategy is helpful for sourcing out those employers before they ever advertise their job openings.

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