Have you heard about the hidden job market? The job of your dreams may never be posted online.
Some jobs are only available to those with inside information and connections. To land one of these jobs, first you have to find them.
Here are some tips that can help you learn about job opportunities that will never make it to your favorite job board:
1. Plan to spend significant time networking
The hidden job market is accessed via relationships. So, if you’re hoping to wade your way into these waters, you’re going to need to devote some real time toward building the right connections. This could take a few months, or even longer, depending on how strong your professional network is to start. So, set aside the time and be ready to invest in building and strengthening relationships.
2. Do some soul-searching
You have to know what you’re looking for in order to find the job that’s right for you. This is extra true when you’re working to find positions that aren’t posted online. You need to reach out to people and tell them about your interests and goals as you move through this process.
So, think about where you’d like to go next professionally. What kind of job are you looking for? Which specific companies and organizations seem like a good fit?
3. Send cold emails
Cold emails aren’t just for salespeople. In fact, a well-written cold email can lead to interviews faster than a cover letter.
Keep your emails short and to the point — it’s more likely someone will read them if you do — while also being clear about who you are and what you’re looking for. Target the companies where you’d most like to be employed, and be sure to send your email to the person who is the most relevant to your request. Introduce yourself and explain why you’d be an excellent fit for the organization.
Finally, don’t hesitate to send along a follow-up email if you don’t hear back after a couple weeks.
Networking is the easiest way to find jobs that will never be posted online. So, devote some time and energy to strengthening and expanding your professional network. For example, you should polish up your profiles online, attend formal networking events and take advantage of opportunities to speak at conferences.
Networking can feel a little uncomfortable sometimes, but there are ways to network without the yuck factor. Find the options that feel right to you.
5. Make it known
It might be difficult to let absolutely everyone in your life know that you’re looking for a new job. Perhaps you’re not ready to share this information with your current employer for example, and that’s perfectly all right. However, you should share your plans, goals and dreams with as many people as possible. The more people know about you and your professional aspirations, the better chance you have of someone reaching out to you with an opportunity.
6. Sign up for alerts
Once you’ve identified the companies you’d love to work for, sign up for some Google News alerts. This way you’ll know if something changes at the company. Sometimes, indicators such as moving to new offices or rising stock prices can signify times when it makes the most sense to reach out. It’s all about timing when it comes to contacting potential employers. Be sure to stay on top of what’s going on.
7. Practice your elevator pitch
If you’re looking for work, you’ll want to have a captivating elevator speech at the ready. An elevator speech is the quick professional pitch you make to a stranger when you only have the duration of an elevator ride to work with.
Think about where you’d like to go in your career and where you’ve been. How can you explain these ideas in a focused, clear and fascinating way that might make others want to work with you? Prepare your speech in advance so that you have it ready when opportunities arise.
This article was originally posted on PayScale.