How to Hack the Hidden Job Market

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Transcript

Mac Prichard:

This is Find Your Dream Job. The podcast that helps you get hired, have the career you want, and make a difference in life. I’m Mac Prichard, your host, and publisher of Mac’s List. I’m joined by my co-hosts, Ben Forstag, our Managing Director, and Jenna Forstrom, our Community Manager. On today’s episode, we’re talking about the single biggest mistake that most job seekers make.

But before we go into that, let me ask my colleagues, Ben and Jenna, we’re you two taught how to look for a job in High School or College?

Ben Forstag:

No, not that I ever remember. I mean we spent a lot of time talking about what we should do as a career, but they never taught us how to go out and actually get that career.

Mac Prichard:

Jenna?

Jenna Forstrom:

I applied for one job in high school and it was to be a lifeguard, where I was already shadowing as a lifeguard, and my boss made me re-do it because I wrote in red pen and she said the first thing about learning about a job is you have to use blue or black pens, and that was the extent of my job hunting.

Mac Prichard:

In high school the, there was a guidance center and there was a very kind woman. An older Nun who ran it, I went to a Catholic High School, and she would let a group of us hang out there, but I don’t think we ever got that much advice, and I’m not proud of this, but at the University of Iowa, I’m not sure I ever went to the guidance, or rather the career office. 

Ben Forstag:

It’s the quietest place on campus

Mac Prichard:

Yea it certainly can be, and it shouldn’t be, because those offices have a lot to offer, whether they’re in high school or college and there are terrific resources there that people should take advantage of.

Well I would say that many of our listeners are like us and we didn’t take a class or even tap into the resources that were available to us when it came time to learn about job hunting and career management. We might have had a career services office give us advice about our resume. I certainly had that experience in graduate school, or maybe even put us through a mock interview, but I’ve yet to meet anybody who’s taken a formal class in high school or college about the nuts and bolts of job hunting. Now that may have changed, but that’s been my experience so far and I think it’s that lack of training that’s a big reason why I see most job seekers make the same mistake again and again and again. 

And the mistake is this: Too many of the people I talk to spend most of their time and their energy looking at job boards. Now the three of us run a job board here at Mac’s List, and it celebrated its 15thanniversary this summer, and we’re very proud of it and we’ve talked to thousands of people in the last fifteen years about job hunting and I would say that most of them are just looking at job boards.

Ben Forstag:

Yea, I mean this is something I’ve encountered a lot when I talk to job seekers, and people seem genuinely shocked when I tell them they should be spending less time looking at job boards, especially given that Mac’s list owns and operates a job board and we make money that way.

Mac Prichard:

Yea absolutely and we’re very proud of what, of the service we offer. There’s a community of about eight thousand people a month who visit our website and subscribe to our newsletters and visit our social media accounts and the employers who post with us tell us they get terrific candidates, but there is fact here that is true, not only in Oregon where we operate our job board, but across the united states and its this –  As many as eight out of ten jobs never make it to a job board or newspaper ad or any kind of public posting, and the reason this happens is, there’s no conspiracy, it’s just human nature. People hire people they know or are recommended to the people that are, by people they trust. So, if you’re looking for jobs and you’re only doing it online you could be missing out on eight out of ten of the jobs that are out there, and if you’re going to find those gigs, you’ve really got to step away from the computer and you’ve got to start talking to people.

Jenna Forstrom:

Yea, I had that experience getting the job here at Mac’s list. One of our, me and Macs’ mutual friends sent me a text message and he was like “Hey, are you looking for work?”, and I said “yea”, in the text message, and he wrote “Do you want to be the Community Manager at Mac’s list?” and I had already been using Mac’s List to job hunt, and I was like “Yes!! Happy face” and he was like “Cool, I’ll shoot you an email” and he sent me all the details and then I, the directions in the email said to apply with Ben, so I shot him off an email and that’s, the rest is history.

Mac Prichard:

And I remember the friend that you’re mentioning and I did send him an email along and I contacted several dozen other people in addition to posting the position. But what I did, so many employers do, which is, they reach out to their personal contacts. People they trust, and they ask for recommendations and when those recommendations come in, those people, as was the case with you Jenna, usually move to the front of the line.

Ben Forstag:

You know Mac, when I was actually thinking about this, I’ve had five serious jobs in my career, and only one of them I’ve ever gotten through a job board, and the other four have all been through networking and at the time I didn’t even know I was networking. It was just I happen to know someone who knew someone who knew a job opening and that’s how I found out about these opportunities as well, like

Jenna, the opportunity right now. Working at Mac’s List.

Mac Prichard:

Yea, and it’s because of the value of networking and volunteering and going on informational interviews that we teach those same skills, not only through our free blog, but also through the weekly Podcast Find Your Dream Job.

Ben Forstag:

Yea, I think it’s a bit telling we’ve never had an episode that was called How To Look For Jobs on Job Boards.

Mac Prichard: 

Yea, and there is, again, these value in looking on job boards, Mac’s List and there are thousands of job boards out there. In fact I saw one estimate that there are forty thousand niche job boards in the united states. So find the niche job boards in your field or in your geographic area and visit them, but don’t stop there. You need to do more, and that’s why we do the blog and why we do the podcast and it’s also why we’re offering another way to help job seekers and today our first course goes live. It’s a video based class. It’s called Hack the Hidden Job Market, and it’s now open to students. And we created this course, not because the three of us went out and cooked up, we had this brilliant idea, it’s based on listening to the people that we meet at the events we do. We do about eight events a year in the Portland area, but we also, every day, get emails from job seekers who tell us what their biggest challenges are and so based on those questions, those emails, the people we meet at events, we find that the same frustrations with job hunting keep coming up again and again.

Ben, I know you’ve been working on this course a lot the last couple of months. Tell us more about it.

Ben Forstag:

Sure, and like you said Mac, it was really built out of a lot of the frustrations we were hearing from job seekers, and you know, the number one frustration I hear from people is saying like “I spend a lot of time online. I apply to a lot of jobs and I never hear back from anyone. It’s like my resume disappears into a black hole.” And that process is so frustrating and so lonely for people and you know, I know. I’ve been there. I spent six months during my last job search, four months of that time, doing that exact same process. 

So we, in this course, are trying to highlight a different way to do things. A way that we think works better and frankly is less frustrating while you’re doing it because you’re getting immediate results in the short term, and a faster route to get that job in the long term. So, as you noted, it’s a video based course with twelve lessons and we take you through the entire job search process from a primer on how organizations hire. How organizations really hire, ok, because we know there’s the formal process and then the informal one.

Mac Prichard:

Yea and that informal process, I think, many people don’t understand it’s happening, or they learn it by trial and error.

Ben Forstag:

Yea, and I think a lot of people know that it exists, but don’t quite know how it works. So we lift the curtain on that one for you. We also talk about strategies for plugging into the hidden job market in your town and tips on how you can land that hidden job through networking and all of these are hosted by you Mac.

Mac Prichard:

And I think it, we not only show you a process, but in the end what really matters is this – If you’re listening and you’re ready for a change, but you’re not sure how to do it, the principles and the ideas that we lay out in the course are things that we’ve used. I’ve certainly used personally, and I’ve taught to hundreds of people through informal conversations or informational interviews and they get results. People get the jobs they want and that’s the benefit.

Jenna Forstag:

Plus we’ve added a ton of learning tools to each course. Pdf’s, worksheets, downloads, tons of information, resources, additional podcasts to listen to. Pretty much any form of education that you like to download information, we’ve got you covered in this course. 

And then my personal favorite is, we have a Facebook group that’s private, so you don’t have to worry about your Mother In-Law seeing it or your next door neighbor and it’s all just a way to encourage and inform and continue to educate on this mastermind group of people who are actively job seeking to find their dream jobs.

Ben Forstag:

Yea I think that Facebook group is going to be a huge plus. So the three of us, Mac, Jenna and myself, we’re all going to be online using this group to answer questions and review materials for the course. And we’re also going to be hosting monthly Mastermind Chats using Facebook live with the course participants. I’m really looking forward to those.

Mac Prichard:

I am too because it gives us a chance, the three of us, to connect with people who have questions, and we know that we’ve got information and tools and tips that can be helpful to them to get the job they want.

I, and its, you know, one of the humbling things about the work the three of us do is we get requested almost every day from people who want to do one on one informational interviews with us and we try to see as many people as we can, but this course is a way of connecting with people outside of Portland and teaching them the techniques and principles and ideas that we offer, not only through the blog and the radio show, the podcast rather, but that I’ve used personally. So people will say to me “Gosh, you’ve had such a great career” and you know, I’ve had my periods of unemployment too, but I’ve used these same techniques in my own career and it’s how, and what you will learn in the course will teach you the ideas I used to get a job with a human rights group that took members of Congress on foreign fact finding trips back in the 1980’s. It’s those same techniques that are how I got a plum job in Portland with the City Hall Communications, as a City Hall Communications Director for a Mayoral Candidate. And it’s how I became a speech writer to a Governor of Oregon. These were three great jobs and they were my dream jobs and none of them were advertised. Only a handful of insiders knew about these opportunities. All three were part of that hidden job market that this course will teach you about. The jobs that get filled by word of mouth. So I’ll teach you, in the class, these same proven principles I used not only to find those gigs, and get interviews, but to get hired. And I’ve shred those same principles with thousands of people in the last fifteen years who’ve asked me for job hunting advice through informational interviews and now it’s available to course participants. 

I’ve seen people use these ideas to get deep inside the hidden job market to get their own dream jobs and that’s what you’ll learn if you sign up. So I hope if you’re starting a job search, or you’re in the middle of one, or you’re thinking about your career, that you’ll consider signing up for Hack the Hidden Job Market. You’ll get from this class something you probably never learned in high school or college, and that’s a better faster and less frustrating way to look for a job you can love.

So registration for Hack the Hidden Job Market is open now and we’re recording this in the last week of October. At the end of November, we’ll close the course and so after November 30th, we probably won’t reopen it again until later in 2017, and it will be at a higher price. So if you are interested and want to learn more, and are ready to register, visit www.MacsList.org/course , and I hope you’ll join me and Ben and Jenna and we can work with you to help you hack the hidden job market.

Thanks for listening.

On this bonus episode of Find Your Dream Job, we talk about the single biggest mistake most job seekers make…

They spend too much time and energy on job boards!

Job boards can be a great resource. But did you know, 8 out of 10 jobs never make it on a job board?  That’s because employers prefer to hire candidates they already know and trust.  If you are looking for a job only on job boards, chances are you are missing out on 80% of all job opportunities!

Want to learn more about this hidden job market?  Today, we launched our Hack the Hidden Job Market online course.  It’s a 12-part video course, where Mac walks you through the entire job hunting process. It’s full of practical tips for job hunting, strategies for networking, and is completely inspired our community’s questions that we’ve been hearing at Mac’s List for years.

In Hack the Hidden Job Market, we remove the curtain of confusion when it comes to job seeking.  Help you get focused on your career goals, which allows you to job hunt effectively.  Plus, we’ve got tons of additional bonus materials, podcasts, PDFs, website resources and a private Facebook group with monthly mastermind meetings with the entire Mac’s List team.

Interested in learning more?  Sign up for my online course, Hack the Hidden Job Market.  Using this step-by-step guide and lots of bonus resources, you’ll be equipped to find your dream job faster and with less frustration!