There are a number of potential opportunity channels that job seekers can use to find more interviews, but most candidates only use just two or three.
How many of these channels do you use in your job search campaign?
What worked before in a good job market with plenty of low hanging fruit, just isn’t good enough today. When the job market is at it’s most competitive ever in our lifetimes, successful candidates have to do more work to find the right opportunities, looking in places they might not have bothered with in their last job search when times were better.
What’s An Opportunity Channel?
An opportunity channel, for those who aren’t in marketing, is simply a defined place to find opportunities. When there are more jobs than opportunities, unless you are trying to make a tough career change, you might only need to use the easiest and most obvious of these sources. But in today’s market, candidates need all the help they can get, and are wise to expand their search to include new channels. Keeping as many lines in the water that produce results is a good tactic in a market where jobs are in short supply.
But what are the major opportunity channels?
The Opportunity Channels Most Candidates Use:
Chances are, you’re already using at least two, if not all three of the channels that most candidates use. These are the easy and obvious channels – they can work when there are labor shortages with more jobs than people. But these channels are over competitive in today’s market with an over supply of labor:
- Job Boards: Job boards are the most obvious channel and therefore the most competitive. Companies who advertise on job boards get candidates that number from the many hundreds to the thousands – for each open position. Even with all this competition, there are ways you can still use job boards to stand out and get noticed ( see http://recareered.blogspot.com/2010/05/3-ways-to-leverage-job-boards-and.html ).
- Recruiters: When there is an over supply of jobs, it’s easy to just have recruiters present jobs to you. But when jobs are in short supply, a recruiter’s job gets more difficult and they are less effective to candidates. However, even in a tough job market, recruiters can still help if you use them effectively ( see http://recareered.blogspot.com/2010/03/inside-track-on-recruiters-top-10-tips.html ).
- Close Network: Most candidates close network is comprised of their 50 – 75 closest contacts. These are the friends, neighbors, relatives, ex-coworkers, ex-bosses in a candidates contact list – the people who have been to your house are most likely to recommend you when they hear about an opening. However, this channel is separate from your broader network of work acquaintances, trade show/networking acquaintances, ex-vendors, and social networking acquaintances – the people who you have (at best) a loose relationship with. Most people confuse these two channels and horribly misuse their close network, gaining poor results while risking alienation by asking for help while not providing value. There’s a better way to have your close network help you ( see http://recareered.blogspot.com/2010/04/question-of-week-how-should-i-let-my.html ).
Additional Opportunity Channels To Explore:
There are three more opportunity channels that few job seekers use. Why are they seldom used? These are less obvious, seldom taught, and when they are used … they are typically misused, with poor results.
However, these three channels, when used effectively, can be the source to unlock the hidden job market – the unadvertised, often less competitive job market. Remember the phrase “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”? These channels help candidates to get to know the right people more often …
- Broad Network Your broad network are acquaintances from past jobs, kid’s school events, trade shows, networking events and social networks. Maybe you’ve met these people a few times, maybe you’ve had coffee or lunch, but you’ve probably never been to their house or family events or invited them to yours. Resist spamming them with your resume, but work with them to gain even more valuable information than just the jobs posted already on their website (see http://recareered.blogspot.com/2009/11/guerrilla-job-search-tactics.html ).
- Social Networking Your social network is a different channel than your broad network ( yes, there’s a little overlap – First level connections ). Potentially even more valuable than your first level connections, are the people your connections know and are connected to – your extended network. Chances are, your close and/or broad network are connected to people in your target companies – quite possibly in the department where you want to work, or the hiring managers themselves. Utilizing your social network is a two step process:
- Identify path: Identify who you need to connect to, so that you get closest to the hiring manager. It’s not enough today to get connected to just anyone in the company, thanks to referral bonus programs – here’s a guide of who you’ll want to connect to (see http://recareered.blogspot.com/2010/05/how-employee-referral-bonus-programs.html ).
- Gain inside information: Don’t get nervous … inside information is perfectly legal, as long as you don’t buy and sell stocks based on this information. But you can use it very effectively to in your job search and it’s 100% legal. Here’s what to ask for and how (see http://recareered.blogspot.com/2010/04/why-good-career-changers-are.html ).
- Inbound Marketing: Perhaps the most effective yet least used job search channel, inbound marketing creates what marketers call a “pull channel” – an inbound pipeline of opportunities. Candidates who use social media to create personal brands and market themselves help Google, recruiters and hiring managers find them. Since today’s managers typically first do their own due diligence on the net to research business problems, making yourself findable on Google by your subject matter expertise helps hiring managers find you before even before the problem turns into a job. Being findable by Google is one of the best ways to get ahead of the curve in the hidden job market, by being the solution to a company’s problem – for more on this channel see http://recareered.blogspot.com/2010/04/how-does-google-affect-your-job-search.html ).
Are you using all six channels in your job search? How can you use more of these channels to get additional “lines in the water” and to give yourself a better chance of catching a great job?-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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