Back in the ’90s, the hidden job market held approximately 80% of all opportunities. However, today, those numbers are way up: near 95% – especially for 6-figure executives. Stark statistics, yes. However, I’m certain that using the correct method, you most assuredly can penetrate the hidden job market and land the position that’s perfect for you.
Here’s the key: adopt 100% authenticity. Just be you. You are more than good enough, right now, today. Too often I connect with executives who seemingly have forgotten their inner gifts and talents. What that usually sounds like is, “The team really did that. I was just on it.” Certainly I realize you didn’t achieve the industry-leading position for your employer by yourself overnight. However, at the Director, VP, or C-level, I’m sure your expertise and leadership proved instrumental to what the organization was able to achieve. The lesson is this: in executive job search, being humble isn’t going to cut it. Get back in touch with your genuine gifts, confidently say what those gifts are, and that will make your networking so much easier as you break into the hidden job market.
Authentic Practice #1: Networking. Inauthentic networking is when you go to some event with this on your brain: “TONIGHT, I must see who here can tell me about a possible opening.” That’s a manufactured agenda. Authentic networking is when you go into virtually any interaction just thinking: “OK, time to relax, start some conversations, articulate my value when it makes sense, and see what good comes of that.”
Authentic Practice #2: Elevator Pitching. Your elevator pitch is your golden moment. Don’t turn that gold to dust by spewing out a string of words that someone sometime before told you sound good on a resume. Please just state the following: who you are, what you do, and the value you offer. A good idea is to write down your thoughts at home ahead of time, then polish it up and tighten it into two or three sentences.
Authentic Practice #3: Recruiter Conversations. News flash: recruiters know it (and hate it) when you sound like a robot, stiffly reciting what you imagine they want to hear. It’s fake and it’s obvious. Why go for what’s not real, when you have the real deal inside of you? Just pull it out. You know what your expertise is. Think of a time when you applied it to lead your organization to success, especially monetary success. Fold that into the conversation with the recruiter, and you’re more likely to win his backing and advance through the interview process.