Guest Blogger: Dec 15, 2011

Unconventional Job Hunting
by Anita Rothwell Lindsay

Many Floridians feel the bite of unemployment – 10.3 % as of October 2011. Those employed gulp at the thought of possibly becoming unemployed themselves as they hear of family or friends walked to the door. 

Approximately 20% of job openings are advertised. The remaining 80% of openings linger in the hidden job market – unadvertised. What strategies could you adapt to open those doors to opportunity?

Identify Your Strengths and Skills:
·         What are you good at? Use verbs to describe what you do or what you have done.
·         Ask a trusted peer or friend to help you identify your strengths – brainstorm.
·         What have you accomplished?
·         What do you enjoy doing? Examine what you are proud of accomplishing and/or what you enjoy doing when not at work.
·         Where do you want to live? Move, work a year or so, and then transfer back to the geographic area of your choice with the company or a related industry.
Find the Hidden Job Market:
·         Decide on an industry where you would want to work. Do you want to explore other industries?
·         Target specific businesses who hire those with your skills.
·         Find people who work for that company. (Go to the lunch room and meet someone – brazen, perhaps, but it works.)
·         Get the name of the person who does the hiring.
·         Research the company, know interesting specifics, and company accomplishments.
·         Make a list of everyone you know.
·         Let them know you are looking for work – somebody may know somebody.
·         Join a professional organization in your industry.  
·         Get out of the house and meet new people – parties, presentations, workshops.
·         Use social networks to connect: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc. and industry/job blogs.
·         Have a business card with your name, phone number, and e-mail address – keep phone messages professional.
Take Action:
·         Know the name of the hiring manager
·         Connect directly through cold calling, a reference from a mutual acquaintance is best, connect by social media, or meet in person.
o   Cold call Script example: “Do you have any job openings for a _ _ _ _ _ . I’d like to find out more about the position. Can we schedule a 10 or 15 minute appointment so I can talk with you? (If no openings) Do you anticipate any openings in the future? Do you know two or three other companies in the industry who may be hiring?”
·         Practice your cold calling script – practice, practice, practice
·         Personal contact: Walk through the door and ask for the name of the hiring manager. Ask if they are hiring – If it’s someplace you can gain experience, ask if you can volunteer (fills in the gaps while unemployed).
·         Dress to impress and demonstrate courtesy – the secretary can be your best ally.
·         If the manager should enter the room, stand up to greet him or her.
·         Refine and practice your 30-second pitch – you the product you are selling.
·         Dazzle with knowledge about the company based on your company research.
·         Listen attentively, with your eyes and your body, take notes. 
·         Ask questions about the company.
·         If offered an interview, take it.  Practice helps confidence for the next interview and a related position might be available and you have an in with the company.
Follow Up:
·         Send a thank-you note to anyone who gives you a referral or agrees to listen to your pitch – e-mail is acceptable but I know people who were hired because of a hand-written note.
·         If you are told to call back in a couple of days, call back.
·         Follow up continuously, be persistent but polite.
·         Record your contact information in a database.

Remember, start by identifying your strengths and skills. Based upon what you enjoy doing, begin researching and targeting industries and businesses that tie into those strengths and skills. Network and take action to seek out potential prospects. Be persistent and make sure to follow-up. Unearthing these hidden job opportunities might open up possibilities you only dreamed about.  A gem job could be waiting for you.


Brennfleck, Kevin and Kay. “”Hidden” Job Market: Direct Employer Contacts.” Concordia University. n.d. Web.
“Cold Calling Tips.” Youth Central. n.d. Web.
“Tapping into the “Hidden” Job Market.” CBSNews.  2010 Dec. 20. Web.
Google keyword search: hidden job market, cold calling, guerrilla job hunting


Anita Rothwell Lindsay, Information Specialist, Educator, and Workshop Facilitator, currently employed as a librarian at a local technical institute. Creative design consultant to ShoutOUT® Enterprises, Inc., Chimera Investigative Group, Inc. and Next30 Productions Inc. Contact Anita directly:

About ShoutOUT

Founder of ShoutOUT. Love to discover, share, and connect my community to events, businesses, and services locally, nationally and internationally.
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2 Responses to Guest Blogger: Dec 15, 2011

  1. really great post, nice one, thanks.

  2. Heather says:

    Thanks for the feedback! Am very fortunate with the talented bloggers who have volunteered!

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