How To Land An Unadvertised Job
A big problem today is people do not want to learn new job-seeking skills. Too many still hang on to the
idea that the best way to find a job is to just jump in — respond to ads and hope for interviews. That day is over.
If you are monitoring want ads or surfing the Internet, that’s okay, but be aware that only about 20 percent
of all available jobs are ever advertised. Seventy-five to 80 percent of all opportunities are never advertised
publicly. These jobs make up the unadvertised or “proactive” job market.
Do you know how to effectively land an unadvertised job? The first step to break into the unadvertised job
market is to locate and approach the appropriate decision-makers through networking.
Don’t Ask For A Job. Ask For Advice.
Networking is the thoughtful, effective and active use of contacts. It is never a straight-out request for
employment. Networking is also asking for information and advice. Start by talking with people who you know,
so that they can introduce you to people you don’t know. These people should include not only friends and
professional associates, but also people who provide services to you – doctors, lawyers, accountants and
vendors. Here are some steps to help land an unadvertised job through networking:
• Build rapport with a person relevant to your career search. One word of advice: Bypass the HR
department whenever possible. Target decision-makers — hiring managers, owners, CEOs and presidents.
• Reassure them by making it clear that you are not expecting them to know of a current opportunity. Tell
them what you are expecting from your networking meeting (market intelligence, career path validation,
• Present a clear, concise picture of yourself. State your career objective, a brief background summary, and
a description of the options or industry sectors you are currently exploring. This will help them decide
what type of information will be useful to you.
• Ask relevant questions. You can begin your conversation by discussing industry sectors, companies within
them, typical or special problems or needs within those companies, or ways companies have tried dealing
with them. You can then ask about people who can help you take the next steps in building your base of
information and contacts.
• Do not pull out a résumé. Let any discussion of job openings happen naturally. A résumé screams that you
are looking for a job, and this will turn off some of the people you most want to meet. Presenting a résumé
at an informational networking meeting would lead some people to conclude that you did not really want
information, you just wanted to know if the person had a job for you. You can always send your résumé
with your thank-you letter the minute you get home.
• Networking. It is the fastest way to locate a good mechanic, a good doctor, and a good job in the
Brought to you by Shelli Ryan, APR,