How to find Hidden Opportunities

As we have highlighted earlier on importance of accessing the hidden job market, here are the strategies on how to put yourself within potential employers’ easy reach.

Use Your Connection / Network

We all know that “connection” is important, but most of us fail to utilize the power of advertising yourself thru your own network. It is the most effective way to find opportunities. But also takes most time as you need to develop relationships and trust, in addition to maintaining the relationships.

1. Talk to Everybody
When you speak about your job search, your business contacts (past clients, colleagues, suppliers, or vendors) will most likely at least have information or know someone who can help your search, if not refer you to the exact openings or companies you are looking for.

Talk to your wife or dentist or whoever. Believe it or not, it is a very small world. Your dentist may know someone in a company you are interested in. Your wife may know the wife of the CEO you want to contact.

2. Be Specific
Let your network know a few details of what you are looking for so they have an image and can keep an eye out for you
× I’m looking for a Finance Manager position
 I’m looking for a Finance Manager position in a small-medium sized, gaishi company in the IT industry. Can you think of anyone I can talk to?

3. Expand your Network, online & offline
Meet and maintain contacts, exchange information over coffee with professionals you meet at trade shows, professional associations, seminars, events etc. Many foreign Chambers of Commerce, private companies, and associations produce networking events, business seminars, etc.

Joining SNS such as Mixi or LinkedIn, participating in specific interest groups, discussing in forums are also becoming effective ways to interact and exchange information with other professionals. It is also highly possible to connect with someone working in the companies you are interested in contacting.

Gaining popularity in engaging talents, customers and investors, companies are also starting to create blogs or having employees and even the president to create blogs to foster an interactive environment with its stakeholders. Give Google Blog Search a search. You will at least find more detailed information about a company if not job openings.

List of foreign Chambers of Commerce, online & offline networking opportunities

Direct contact to employers - Call or Regular Mail

This is an effective and impressive, yet very much under-utilized way to establish connection with target employers. Even though you are interested in a certain company, you may not find a personal connection to inquire about hidden, up and coming positions. The next best option is to contact the company directly.

While different situation call for different actions, calling then follow-up is generally suitable for those who are looking for a non-managerial position.
For managerial and above candidates, sending your resume with an introduction cover letter then follow-up with call is recommended. You may think cold contact is too aggressive, but you will be surprised that employers are very interested in talking to people who are interested in their company and have something to offer, regardless if they have an immediate opening or not.
Direct contact is effectively a sales contact, selling an attractive product to a potential buyer. Make sure you research about the company and have reasons on why you are interested in the company and what you can offer them.

Brief steps when calling:
1. Summarize in a sentence or two of your qualification
2. Explain why you are interested in the company
3. Be polite. Ask the name of the person you want to talk to, HR or Department Head and the name of the person who is taking your call. Ask him/her to connect you
4. If connected, repeat #1 & 2. Ask if they may have any need of someone like you now or in the near future. Be polite and be prepared to sell yourself on the spot if they ask you more questions
5. This call will most likely end up one of 2 ways: the potential employer will either invite you to go in for a meeting, or request you to send them your resume
6. Follow-up. Companies may not have the openings of your interest when you called. Maintain the connection, and you will be the person they call when they have a position opened up

 More about  cover letter to introduce and to inquiry about possible opening