Launching an Effective Job Search
For those of you who are familiar with the academic job market, it is a very different arena for the job search outside of the academy. For example, for the academic job search the majority of positions are advertised. In the non-academic market, about 70% of positions with which individuals connect are not advertised. These are the positions, called unpublished or "hidden" which are usually the most important target of your search.
The Job Market is composed of: 1. Published positions - those on internet sites, advertised in newspapers, journals, and other publications, job fairs, on-campus recruiting, search firms, and other sources; and 2. unpublished positions. The unpublished positions can be actual, but not yet advertised positions, or can be potential positions. The potential positions are those that may have been discussed, but no action as been taken yet, or may be created to meet a need, a problem, or a critical issue. For many graduate students networking and informational interviewing produce that unpublished opportunity that becomes their first job. For others, connecting with published opportunities, with targeted internet sites or on-campus recruiting is where they find their first opportunity.
1. Published opportunities. For each discipline and job prospect there are diverse internet sites for you to review. On-line Job Search will link you to some of these. Others are listed on the Search Outside of the Academy. These sites can often be useful in reviewing job descriptions, job titles, and requirements. They are great for information gathering, and you may indeed find that first position that is a great match for you.
Reviewing professional journals, major newspapers, and their internet sites is also useful. You may also contact (or be contacted) by job search firms or agencies that may have positions.
2. The Hidden Market. Networking is the most important tool for uncovering the majority of positions. Ask people how they found their positions - usually about 70% report that this is how they connected with their organization. This is where your skills and abilities and interests are "matched" with the needs of an organization. Job satisfaction is usually high since there is a higher level of match. In some cases a position has been discussed and not advertised. In other cases, some managers know of impending vacancies, or additions to staff, or planned projects. When you make a networking contact, the match is completed.
Contacting a search firm that specializes in your discipline or industry can be a way for you to uncover an opportunity also. Sometimes recruiters will "market" you to an organization even though there is not a published opportunity. Sending letters to organization marketing you can also lead to an interview. You could be the candidate that they have been thinking about!