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Debra Feldman - Hidden Job Market Secrets

How to Get the Job You Want When You Are Not the Employer's Ideal Choice

Debra Feldman TotalPicture Radio interviewDebra Feldman

"...the most effective alternative is to avoid online application routes and to focus exclusively on how to Network Purposefully, essentially abandoning on line job applications in favor of one-on-one interactions, both in person and online relationships." Debra Feldman

Welcome to a special Career Strategy Channel interview on TotalPicture Radio - with Peter Clayton reporting. It's a new year and many people are determined to find a great job that truly utilizes their knowledge, skills, and passions in 2014.

Joining me today - a real expert in uncovering the Hidden Job Market - Debra Feldman. Debra is the JobWhiz™, a nationally recognized executive talent agent and job search expert known for her ability to implement strategic, customized senior level job search campaigns for her clients.

In our exclusive interview, Debra will help you to understand How to Get the Job You Want When You Are Not the Employer's Ideal Choice.

Following, here's Debra's article...


Hidden Job Market Secrets:

How to Get the Job You Want When You Are Not the Employers Ideal Choice

Exceptional employees are often imperfect candidates who know how to get the attention of hiring authorities and show they will immediately provide successful solutions

By: Debra Feldman, JobWhiz, Executive Talent Agent

Traditional job searching methods, i.e., submitting resumes online or responding to an advertisement, filing an application, blasting resumes to recruiters, etc. in todays job market, do not reliably generate responses from employers even for those who satisfy advertised position requirements. The challenge to get hired for individuals who do not match stated expectations is far greater. For this group, focus and the right go-to market strategy emphasizing one-on-one direct networking, not just as part of a social media dialogue, is the best, if not the only, way to source their next career opportunity. Connecting with individuals, developing trust and having a mutually beneficial relationship is the key to getting traction and increasing job search momentum. The most effective network contacts to obtain a potential position are the hiring decision maker or someone the hiring authority knows and whose recommendation they will trust.

Experienced job seekers are all too familiar with the dreaded resume black hole. Its enough to make one give up. What works? This means conquering the obstacles that impede job searching progress and overcoming threats like getting lost in cyberspace, being excluded by employers computerized resume receiving and screening systems, delivery to the wrong recipient and a myriad of other interferences that prevent communication with the appropriate company contact who always is the hiring decision maker, not HR. It gets weary and is near impossible to beat sophisticated, constantly changing computerized recruiting systems by stuffing key words into a resume, broadcasting a voluminous number of applications trying to beat the odds, and posting your online resume every -and -anywhere to be more accessible to recruiters. Actually, the most effective alternative is to avoid online application routes and to focus exclusively on how to Network Purposefully , essentially abandoning on line job applications in favor of one-on-one interactions, both in person and online relationships. Anything smacking of a mass approach is far less effective than concentrating efforts on individual contacts. Progress is vastly improved when these connections are meaningful to both parties and are targeted to specific niches, like a shared industry, functional role, common cause, shared experience, mutual contact, etc. In short, the most effective networking is characterized by

-connecting with the right hiring decision maker with
-a message that will resonate with their expectations,
-pique their interest,
-cultivate their trust,
-demonstrate your exceptional talents, background and abilities,
-show how you can do the job better than all competitors, both internally
sourced or new hire and then
-politely following up after the initial connection to stay on the hiring
authoritys radar screen as thye single best prospect with the most serious

Lets look at how to do a better job of making initial contact, delivering a positive first impression, proving you are the best candidate for the position and following up with polite, persistent, pings so that you are not forgotten. Start by taking the employers point of view: they have work to get done within a specific timeframe and have allocated a budget, desire a reliable problem solver preferably with relevant experience to avoid having to invest in the new hires learning curve, want to avoid risks, disruptions and mistakes, and the chosen solution must balance all other financial, organizational, personality and other requirements.

The best and maybe only way for worthy candidates is to go penetrate the system, eliminate gatekeepers (human and automated,) and obtain the necessary one-to-one, direct exchange with the decision maker is by establishing a personal relationship. Scheduling an appointment with the hiring authority must be top priority. The hiring authority must be motivated to take a networking meeting. To encourage their participation, its the candidates job to show the hiring authority whats in it for them.

A. You wont detract from other priorities or conflict with other commitments and are not too needy, disorganized, overly persistent, or selfish in any way.

B. The interaction will not be a waste of time or resources.

C. The meeting is risk-free. Theres a measurable value to them personally and to their company and other team members.

D. You are 100% reliable, likable, trustworthy, and credible. You have already proven through your initial inquiry or via an introduction from a mutual connection that you have something of value to offer.

Here are some tips on how to meet these requirements.

There should also be an obvious and a bonus benefit for the hiring authority: they know, understand and believe that they stand to gain more from the conversation than just talking to or helping a job seeker. What is in it for them? Curiosity works in the candidates favor. Your presentation of credentials should include quantifiable data, success stories, showing how your knowledge, skills, talents, experience applies to them and their needs, (eg., especially anticipated revenue or profits growth, cost reduction opportunities and process improvements or an innovation, people and resources they dont already have, etc.)

It is deadly to start off expecting the employer to tell you what you should do to find a job. You must come into the meeting with an agenda to drive an exchange of ideas and keep the flow moving forward both for you to get advice, help, info, referrals, etc. to further your search as well as leave the employer in a better place with more knowledge, doors that have been opened, progress made towards their goals, etc.

When a candidate comes recommended by a mutual contact that already has the hiring decision makers ear, trust, admiration, etc., then the likelihood of the meeting happening and going well is even stronger. People prefer to relate to a friend of a friend over a stranger. Focus on connections to people (affiliated with functions, industries, etc.,) Do not count HR as a contact unless your career is HR-related.

Now that we have identified that a dialogue between the hiring authority and the imperfect candidate is the prerequisite for getting a chance at bat, the next step is prepping the candidate to make a very positive impression. The ideas described above about impact on performance are solid winners, but a more creative approach is to focus the presentation specifically on information intended to allay the managers fears, concerns, hesitancy and general opposition. The goal is to convert the hiring authority from anti-candidate or mildly neutral to the candidates champion within the organization. The strategy for this conversion is to address each of the hiring authoritys missing qualifications and replace them with trade-offs that qualify the candidate as a safe, sure bet. Changing the hiring authoritys mind is best done by building trust, deepening the relationship, demonstrating competencies and sweetening the offer with unexpected, additional talents or other potential benefits to offset the candidates perceived weaknesses. In the hiring authoritys mind, the perfect candidate is someone completely matching their wish list. However, that is a remote possibility number one and number two, the perfect employee may not be the same as the perfect candidate! It is a prospects responsibility to re-frame the hiring authoritys thinking to recognize that they are indeed the right person for the job to be done well by carefully addressing each of their concerns and promoting the all-important sense of trust that the candidate can and will solve the challenges better than anyone else.

© All Rights Reserved by Debra Feldman 2013

Debra Feldman is the JobWhiz, a nationally recognized executive talent agent and job search expert known for her ability to focus her clients campaigns for the swiftest, smoothest landings. Uniquely, she implements strategic, customized senior level job search projects personally making live C-level and board member introductions to accelerate networking connections that produce active leads.

Peter Clayton

About Peter Clayton

Peter Clayton, Producer/Host, is an award-winning producer/director of radio, television, documentary, video, interactive and Web-based media who has created breakthrough media for a wide array of Fortune 100 clients.


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