Searching for the perfect job takes a ton of effort, and staying motivated while you work to land the career of your dreams can make even the most patient person chomp on her chrome nails. We know that while good things come to those who wait, those who hustle get the cream of the crop, so we reached out to New York Times-bestselling author and global networking expert Dr. Ivan Misner. He clued us in on the concept of “secret jobs,” which are basically unlisted positions you can score before heaps of applications begin rolling in. Intrigued? Give your resume an ultra-quick refresh, and read on for Dr. Misner’s top tips.
1. Cultivate the right mindset. Dr. Misner tells us that confidence is key when it comes to landing an unlisted position. “Desperation isn’t referable,” he says. “Since you’ll be depending on your network to speak highly of you to their hiring manager and contacts, practice confidently touting your skills.” If you’re having trouble summoning confidence, take time to reflect on the projects you’ve enjoyed at past jobs and what you do well, or even ask your teammates to share a few of your strengths with you. For a quick confidence boost, scroll through old LinkedIn recommendations or written letters of reference — there’s so much to be proud of right now.
2. Polish up your social media. Remember that social media can play a key role when it comes to making an impression. “Potential employers will check out your profiles, and you won’t want to make your network look bad if they stick their neck out and recommend you,” Dr. Misner tells us. He even shared a personal anecdote: “I was once considering hiring someone and I checked out his Facebook page,” he says. “OMG! He threw out the “F” bomb time after time on his posts. Even more, he posted inappropriate comments and tirades about people. He was not the kind of influence I wanted in my office.” Yikes!
3. Keep your relationships current. “Reach out to friends, family, and business contacts in person, on LinkedIn, and via social media to tell them exactly what kind of position you’re looking for,” Dr. Misner suggests. “Ask if they can check for any upcoming openings and keep you in mind.” On the flip side, reaching out also allows you to help them out however you can in the future.
4. Consider other connections. Though digital rules, and it’s much easier to fire off a few emails than it is to go knocking on doors, Dr. Misner says that landing a secret job means you have to think (and step) outside of the box. “Don’t forget to check in with neighbors, professional organizations, past customers and clients, and community organizations for even more contacts.” You should never underestimate the strength of weak ties when it comes to scoring a great referral.
5. Know where you stand. “Whether your relationships with your contacts are active, passive, or dormant will determine your strategy for reaching out,” Dr. Misner explains. “Here’s how to approach each: If they’re active, pick up the phone and ask for what you want. There’s a relationship and they’ll most likely love to help. If your relationship is passive, set up time to reconnect (preferably in person). Ask about them and let them know you’re looking for something. Last, if your relationship has grown dormant, reconnect by social media or email. Just talk and don’t ask for anything — yet. Stay in touch, build the relationship before you ask.”
6. Visit companies you admire in person. Want to make an immediate impression or hate waiting with hopes to connect? “Network right there, on the ground,” Dr. Misner says. “Check in with the front desk, drop your resume off in-person, and ask to meet with the HR director. Better yet, find out if someone in your network can connect you to a current employee in that company and contact them through the referral. Meet them for coffee and come prepared.” That’s great advice.
Have you ever landed a job that wasn’t listed yet? Tell us how you made it happen on Twitter @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)