There are plenty of jobs out there. That’s right — plenty. But they are not being advertised—they aren’t publicly announced. They are undercover.
I’m going to help you learn how to find them or actually create them. But first, it’s important to understand why they are undercover in the first place.
- Companies want to avoid bad press – They do not want to advertise that they’re hiring when they are also letting people go. It hurts their credibility and creates very poor public relations. But the reality is that companies almost always continue to hire even during periods of downsizing.
- They want to minimize spending – Budgets have been slashed, and managers often have to go out on a limb to get someone hired. They don’t want to spend hundred or even thousands of dollars on ads or agency fees.
- Job requirements keep changing – It is difficult for hiring managers to define positions when the ground keeps moving beneath them. Therefore, they are often shy about describing a position in an advertisement when job requirements may be very different tomorrow.
- Another reason for not seeing some of the open jobs is that some of them are given to headhunting firms and NEVER advertise the job we work on. This is because they are approaching people that are not looking so that would be a waste of time and money.
So,Don’t Look for Jobs. Look for Needs.
Finding needs will get you hired because companies will create ways to bring in the people that can help them meet increased demand. If you can match your skills with a company’s needs, you stand an excellent chance of having a job created just for you—which is historically the way the best jobs happen anyway.
How do you find those needs so you can create a job that doesn’t exist? There are a few things you need to know:
- Know your targets or potential companies.
- Know if there are enough opportunities in each of your targets: aim for 200 positions in all of your targets combined! That means you will have to include the mid-sized firms that ‘you’ve never heard of’ and are more difficult to find.
- Know the issues that you can address and the problems you can solve. You must know the greatest needs of your target companies —as well as the needs of each company you contact. What are the most significant challenges? Do you know the relevant jargon, areas of anticipated decline and areas of expected growth?
- Know how to generate meetings in your targets with possible contacts and references.
- Follow up and turn those meetings into offers.
How to Get Lists of Companies and Identify Issues
Through research you can identify industries and companies—including mid-sized companies to help you expand your search—and uncover the primary issues. You can do the research fast, and with relatively little pain and inconvenience, using the Internet as your North Star and communicating with some niche good consulting companies.
However you decide to research, remember that you are looking for lists of companies, people and issues. If you forget your mission, you will get lost. And be guided by the following questions:
- How is the industry organized? Start with the big picture, looking at an entire industry. Then break it down into its components. What part of it are you interested in? For example, within Healthcare you might be interested in Pharmaceuticals, Biotech, Medical Devices, or Hospital Administration.
- What is the industry profile? Identify what’s going on in the industry or segment that you select. What are the key issues, buzzwords, areas of growth and decline, foreseeable threats and areas of opportunity? What are the industry associations? Associations can be unbelievable sources of information. Take a look at their journals, newsletters, membership lists, and conferences. Pay especial attention to conference topics, presenters, and sponsors.
- Do you have your company lists and key players identified? Create your lists and narrow your focus. Identify the main players in the industry (companies and people). You will begin to get an idea if there are enough opportunities for you to target. How many companies are there? See if you can figure out where people go when they leave the major companies—this will often help you identify the medium-sized players. Which ones are public and which ones are private?
- Do you know enough about potential opportunities? Dig deeper into the specific companies you have found in your target. What’s going on in each of them? Do they have a special niche or a unique reputation in the industry? What are their competitive position and/or their key differentiation?
- Do you know what job you would aim for? Now you can get more specific. What might your job title be in this industry and in the companies you have identified?
- Who would hire you? Find out the hiring manager’s title and name—or the names and titles of people who are one or two levels above you.
- What key problems would you be able to solve? Craft your positioning statement to offer evidence and proof of your expertise. The more people you speak with, the more of an insider you will become in your target industry.
Besides all have a great resume and elaborated cover letter and take the first bold step with confidence.