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Network - 5 Steps to Tapping into the "Hidden" Job Market

More than 70 percent of the jobs in the United States are never advertised or listed with employment agencies.  They are simply announced [and filled] by word-of-mouth.  This is the "hidden" job market.  Following are some steps you can take to tap this market.

Step 1.  Make a list: List everyone you know who might have a job lead for you—friends of the family, people you went to school or church with, clubs you belong to, etc.  Your friends who have recently left the military are likely to be a step ahead in the job-hunting process and may know who's hiring.  Your colleagues may even have leads on job openings that would suit you perfectly.

Step 2.  Send your resume: Send your resume to each person on your list and attach a cover letter explaining that you are looking for a job in your area of interest.  Ask them to keep their eyes and ears open.  They will help you; they are your friends.

Step 3.  Make calls: Call each person to whom you send a resume and ask for his or her suggestions and guidance.

Note: Some experts believe Step 3 should be done before Step 2.  Your Transition staff can assist you in making the best decision.  But the final decision is yours.

Step 4.  Follow up: After you call, send each person a letter thanking him or her for their help.  Call them periodically to see if they have heard of anything.  Using this approach, you will have dozens of people helping you find the right job.

Step 5.  Develop and maintain a network: The preceding steps have helped you develop a network.  Networking is the most effective way to land the job you want.

Date Last Reviewed: June 29, 2009

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