Can’t find a job? Time to gather your Tribe.
It is a common story. You have been applying for job after job. You get the local paper, you have registered on every online job board and uploaded your resume to the websites of local companies. Yet you are having no luck at all. You wake up every day asking yourself “why can’t I find a job?”
There can be many reasons that you are not being shortlisted. Your resume may not be selling you properly or your interview skills are letting you down. But more often than not, it is simply that you are competing in a market where each advertised job gets hundreds of applicants and it has become a numbers game.
The hidden job market
The hidden job market is believed to make up as much as 70% – 80% of available jobs. These are the jobs that never get advertised to the public because they are filled through word of mouth.
Some industries, such as local government, health and teaching, must advertise all vacancies, even if they already have someone in mind. This can be frustrating in itself as applicants go through the process of applying not knowing if it is a ‘real’ opportunity or not.
But for most employers, why would they pay to advertise a vacancy if they can fill the role through referral? Not only is it cheaper but if the applicants are recommended by someone they already trust.
So how do you tap into the hidden job market to help you find a job?
Tap into your Tribe
Your Tribe (also known as your network) is probably the most underutilised job search tool and yet it is the easiest to use.
Your Tribe is everyone you know. That includes current and former work colleagues, friends, family, acquaintances, your insurance guy, your plumber, your hairdresser and your kid’s footy coach. It is anyone you know that has a heartbeat.
Each member of your Tribe has their own Tribe and you have no idea who they might know. You need to make sure your Tribe is aware that you are trying to find a job so they can look on your behalf.
If you are currently working, you may want to be more discreet with who you tell you are trying to find a job but it doesn’t mean you can’t share that information with a few trusted people. If they don’t realise you are open to a new opportunity, they won’t think of you when someone asks them if they know someone for a role.
Here are some tips for tapping into your Tribe to find a job:
- Say it loud and proud – no matter how large your Tribe, if they don’t know you are looking, they can’t help you find a job. It is not something to be embarrassed about and most people I know love helping others. The more people in your Tribe that know, the more likely one of them will find you your next job.
- Be specific – simply saying you want to find a job is not useful. Tell them the type of work you are after, how many hours, how far you are willing to travel. The more specific you are, the more likely they can identify opportunities for you and know who to speak to in their network to help you.
- LinkedIn – LinkedIn is the perfect tool for putting it out to your extended network that you are available and open to new opportunities. Connecting with former work colleagues that work in your industry means you are on their radar and likely to be front of mind if a job comes up. Make sure you put some time into updating your profile so it is current and presents all of your skills to make you searchable.
- Local Community – whether it is the notice board at your local supermarket, chatting to mates at the local footy or joining a community Facebook group, if you are looking local, you need to tap into your local community network. I live in a small regional community and I see local businesses placing job vacancies on the local Facebook groups as well job applicants looking to find a job by posting their skill set and availability. There is always a positive response and a genuine offer to help.
Whether you have just started trying to find a job or have been searching for months, it is worth putting some time into tapping into your Tribe. You never know where your next opportunity might come from!