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Finding the Perfect, Perhaps Unlisted, Top Secret, No One Knows About It Job

March 11th, 2010 ::

by Robin Ferrier

Quiet Please sign

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bixentro/ / CC BY 2.0

So if you’ve done any reading on how to undertake a job search you’ve probably heard some variation of the following sentiments:

  • There are a lot of jobs out there that just aren’t listed.
  • It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.
  • The most important thing in a job hunt is network, network, network.

Maybe you’re thinking those are all crazy sentiments. Or maybe you’re unsure how to feel about them. Need proof of this sentiment? A story from a colleague, with the names redacted to protect the innocent:

“So two days ago I was called to provide a reference for a previous intern of mine for her new job at [COMPANY]. The recruiter was very nice, super friendly etc.

“Out of the blue she said ‘I wish you were looking for a job’ and of course I said, ‘Actually I am.’

“Now I have a job interview this morning with the recruiter for [JOB TITLE] at [DIFFERENT COMPANY]!!!!”

Sure, in this case, it was a higher level position, but that doesn’t mean this same theory won’t work for you. (Heck, I got my first interview merely because the person selecting who to interview went to the same school and knew about certain activities in which I’d been involved and what kind of time commitment they’d been on top of my school work.)

My point? While searching for a job, EVERY SINGLE INTERACTION is an opportunity to connect with (and hopefully impress) someone, to discover the perfect (up until now unknown) job opportunity, to get your foot in the door… and you have to approach it as such. Because if you’re searching for a job – just like if you’re a PR person dealing with the media – everything is on the record, no matter what you say.

Robin Ferrier is the editor of What’s Next, Gen Y? and Communications Manager for the Johns Hopkins University Montgomery County Campus. She is also the President of the Capital Communicators Group and the co-chair of the Marketing Committee for the Tech Council of Maryland. She has inadvertently become a frequent career / professional / job hunt resource for friends and colleagues due to a career path that has included five jobs in 12 years.