| By Cristina Scalzo |
Let me rock your job search world.
80% of job positions are never publicly posted or advertised.
Does this fact shock you? It very well might, and that is probably because you, like most people, look for jobs and internships through public resources such as job posting sites or the newspaper. These are not bad, but they only hold about 20% of the openings and have many people competing for that opening. This only makes for a narrow view of the jobs out there and an even narrower chance of you securing one of those positions.
So where do the other 80% of job openings hide? They are lurking within the company itself and are filled by association. Take this situation for example: Sally has been working at X company for years, and is ready to retire. She recommends Bill, an employee that has worked for her before to take over her position, leaving Bill’s position up for grabs. The company wants someone who is reliable and asks around the office to see if any of its current respected employees have anyone they know looking for a job to fill the spot.
YOU need to be that person who gets recommended by word of mouth and association.
But how do you get to be that person? Well, let me tell you, it is certainly not by sitting in front of your computer for days in your pajamas submitting your resume to a million job sites.
It is by getting out there and talking to people. One way to start is by making a list of people you know who work in the same field or occupation as you. Once you have made your list, reach out to those people to talk about what they do, their companies, and their career experience. You can even ask those people about jobs in their offices. People want to help other people and love feeling like they have been an aid to someone finding a job. Be sure to check out Career Center resources on how to professionally reach out to someone for an informational interview, and other networking advice, before starting to connect.
If some of the people on your list do not live near you, send them an email or connect with them over social media such as LinkedIn. Just making the connection will get you one step closer to being that person who by association fills the insider job.
As a student, you may not be specifically looking for a job right now. However, there is no better time to start than now. Begin making connections as soon as you can. Being a student gives you an advantage to ask employers and alumni to meet with you and talk about their career and education path. Remember, if someone helps you secure a job, thank them! Send them a note, take them out to lunch, or have flowers delivered to their office.
So get out there and shake some people’s hands.