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The Hidden Job Market: Strategies For Survival

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The Hidden Job Market: Strategies for Survival

As many new and potential graduates begin to prepare themselves for the job market, two important concepts, networking and mentoring, will help them to strategize. Networking and mentoring are the keys to success! They have become the forefront of the job search process. According to, “between 75% and 85% of all jobs are not posted or advertised on the web or in newspapers”. These jobs are only known in the “Hidden Job Market”. gives some great examples of how to establish a network and maintain it. I have learned several important tips that have helped me to build a strategy of my own.

My Push Strategy. I like to call this strategy, “keeping hope alive”. The first step is to build your image. The type of image you want to build is one that will help people remember you and to establish your personality to them. Remember, the first impression is a lasting impression. You need to make sure that your resume speaks for itself (it should appeal to others as well as yourself). How do you know if your resume is appealing? Try this fun activity.

1. Create your resume. Use “keywords” and be very tasteful when it comes to font sizes, formatting, and page setup. Keywords should jump out at the reader (maintained, implemented, processed, and so on).

2. Make sure to print your resume on very “elegant”, but not “busy” resume paper.

3. Print a mock resume. Instead of putting your name on the top of your resume, make up a name. Print out this resume.

4. Then go into Microsoft Word’s resume template (or on the Web) and print several different resumes the same way you printed yours. Spread them all out on a table. Does your resume appeal to you? Keep in mind that what appeals to you, might not appeal to someone else. Try this exercise with a few friends or relatives.

It is also important to have business cards. You are a professional. Cards can be posted on public billboards at your college, church, or local businesses. Put them in the hands of potential employers and people you meet through networking. Be patient, someone will call you. You will also want to make sure that your business cards are appealing. Public billboards are packed, and no one usually has time to read them all. Try the same steps that were used with the resume (collect cards from billboards to compare). Try attending as many job fairs as possible. Give out resumes and business cards. Network and collect information about people you meet. Always think of every person you meet as a business opportunity, and not as that poor unemployed guy. You never know who you are meeting.

The second step is to contact old and new friends, past employers, and co-workers. Don’t forget about the people whom you already know. Get to know that someone who told a friend about a friend’s friend. Get you a black book to keep your numbers in. Write details about the person such as where you met them, years known, profession, and contact information. Stay in contact with them to make sure your information



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