Companies may hire you for what you want to do whether or not they have an advertised job. Research shows up to 85% of positions never actually become advertised! That’s called the hidden job market, and it’s a minefield of opportunity once you uncover it. Your personal contacts are also invaluable in your effort to uncover this hidden market as they often hear rumors about a need for more employees before the employer decides that need is pressing. This is where you use the cover letter in a prospecting mode; you are in a sense prospecting for employment gold before any of your competition gets there!
Employer Websites: It may not seem like it, but employers DO pay attention to their on-line applications. They often don’t tell anyone - until you get a call inviting you to an on-site interview. A well written letter of application accompanying your well developed resume can often have you smiling all the way to the airport. Target employers you like and go for it.
- NOTE: Don’t reinvent the wheel: Read the language from the job description, mimic it in your documents where appropriate, and you will sound like you are just what they need!
- Use Industry guides like Hoovers.com and city lists for competitors of your favorite employers who may have openings or cities with the highest % of education….chances are there are lots of professional jobs there too! Google top employers where you want to be.
- Located in the Career Center: The Rochester Business List; Vermont Business Directory; Book of Lists-Albany, Atlanta, Central New York/Binghamton, Boston, Capitol District, North Carolina Corporate Triangle, Greater Washington DC; Partners in Philanthropy-Albany; New York’s Tech Valley.
- National Job Fairs – advertised on Knightlink’s calendar
Chambers of Commerce – Review the member directory for any chamber to learn about organizations in that area
- Government jobs: https://www.usajobs.gov/
- Temporary Employment Agencies – Can help build your experience while you continue the search efforts
- State Employment Agencies -
- Volunteer Work: Often leads to the 85% of jobs that are never advertised!
- Third Party Recruiters or Headhunters: If they’re reputable, the employer pays the fee. NOT you. Can be very effective. Often used more for more experienced candidates, but sometimes entry level.