Developing Your Career


How to Be in the Right Place at the Right Time When a Job Opening Comes Up

By Greg Simpson on September 26, 2014

Did you know that more than half of all available jobs aren’t advertised? You won’t find them online, in print publications, on recruitment agency websites or college placement offices. So how can you uncover the “hidden” job market? With LinkedIn, it’s gotten a lot easier.

LinkedIn has had a game changing impact on recruiting and hiring. Morphing from 2002’s small network of entrepreneurs, LinkedIn is now a vast global talent hub of over 313 million members. According to a recent article in The Economist, the company eventually plans to have the entire labor pool—expanding their reach beyond professionals to everyone from truck drivers to chefs to CEOs. LinkedIn offers recruiters the added advantage of finding passive job seekers as well—those who are not necessarily looking for a new job, but who might be willing to make a jump for the right offer.

While LinkedIn is an efficient recruiting tool for HR and hiring managers, it also makes it much easier for the job seeker to find hiring managers. Talking with hiring managers is the single most important activity in a search, because these conversations put you in front of the decision maker, often before a position has even opened up. Then, when a position becomes available, you’ll be the “known” candidate—and not just another name on a resume. Use LinkedIn to identify the hiring manager for your position in a targeted company, find a connection willing to make an introduction, then start a dialogue with the manager probing for his or her needs. Keep in touch by sharing articles or commenting on activity. By engaging the hiring manager, identifying needs and offering solutions, you can demonstrate your industry knowledge, putting you front and center when a position becomes available.

LinkedIn has simplified the process of identifying hiring managers and locating network connections who may act as referrals on your behalf. In her article, How To Find Your Hiring Manager Using LinkedIn, Liz Ryan offers a detailed roadmap for reaching out to hiring managers through a carefully constructed “pain” letter. Follow her tips and position yourself so you’re in the right place at the right time when a job opens up. A strong referral paves the way for a hiring manager discussion. What you do with the opportunity is up to you.

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