How to Find Unadvertised Jobs

By Frank Traditi

Hall-of-Fame baseball player Willie Keeler (1872-1923) was asked to explain why he was such a good hitter. He said: "Keep a clear eye and hit 'em where they ain't."

Sometimes the simplest answer opens our eyes to new opportunities. This is especially true in the job search game. Finding new opportunities can be a difficult expedition in today's market. I know many of you have real war stories about your experiences finding the right people who can help.

I like to relate the hunt for new job opportunities to a hunt for hidden treasure. The map is hard to read. It's difficult to find where "X" marks the spot. Finally, when you get to the "X", what do you find? A million other people looking and digging for the same treasure.

Does this sound familiar?

Let's take Willie Keeler's advise and "...hit 'em where they ain't."

Following are ideas for places to look (some may be new to you) where you might find unadvertised job opportunities. In Jeffrey J. Fox's book, "Don't Send a Resume", he points out some unique venues that could lead to useful job search information. I've added a few ideas of my own to round out the list.

Venture capitalists and equity buyout firms

Companies like these make financial investments in new and emerging companies. Many of the people who work for these firms are financial experts. They're not experts in many of the facets of business. They are also very close and intimate with the inner workings of the company. They know where the missing pieces are and the kind of talent that would fill the gap.

Small companies

Companies with revenues less than $25 million are often better places to work than the big corporate giants. Don't overlook the capabilities of a smaller company. Many times they have the flexibility to create new jobs on the fly if you present yourself in a way that allows them to look outside the box.

Trust and estate bankers and lawyers

A trust is a legal entity formed to look after and protect economic assets. Sometimes it's a family owned business. These bankers and lawyers have the inside track on how the company is being managed and where the opportunity exists to bring in new talent. These entities have a very powerful voice in managing the money and want to see it grow.

Commercial loan officers

Banks lend money to companies. They do it based on the future success and viability of that business. They don't want their money to go down the drain. So, they have a vested interest in knowing that the right management team or day to day players are the right combination for making the company successful and paying back the loan.

Attend award ceremonies

Winners and those who want to win attend award ceremonies. People in decision-making positions or highly influential in the community frequently attend these events. They want to be seen amongst the winners. And because these events promote the spirit of building relationships, you'll have access to potentially several movers-and-shakers. You may find them sitting next to you at the banquet table. Reach out, introduce yourself, and begin the conversation. It could lead you down just the right path.

Bankruptcy trustees and lawyers

Bankruptcy laws are in place to help companies emerge from and revive from economic disaster. Trustees and lawyers work with the target company to help them pay their creditors. Most times when they emerge they are stronger than ever. 95% of the time the old management is gone. Sound like an opportunity to show them what you can do?

Volunteer and Non-profit Organizations

One of the best things you could do while searching is to give back to the community. You have some time and could really do nice things for a cause you believe in. What comes of your volunteer time? Besides the obvious of helping other people, you are rubbing shoulders with those who are just as passionate about the cause. People you are volunteering with could very well be leaders and influencers at successful companies around town. You now have built a common link and a chance to find opportunity at their company.

Take the time to find the hidden treasure in a place where few others are looking. Even if you focus on just one of these venues, you are ahead of the game.

Happy hunting.

Copyright © 2005, Frank Traditi

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