They rarely advertise vacancies, probably don’t have a human resources department and will often be prepared to create a position for someone they believe can generate growth and profit for them. And it is much easier to use contacts to get to the owner/manager.
But most importantly, small to medium companies create around two thirds of new jobs!
Let’s think about your contacts for a minute- who are they?
Family-all of them , friends, everyone in your address book, people you meet on-line, on LinkedIn, Facebook ,ex-colleagues, people you meet at the gym, salespeople , check out staff, your hairdresser, professionals –your doctor and accountant ,waiting staff in your favourite restaurant –in fact everyone you have ever met or meet in your job search.
Your contacts are your eyes and ears. So you must develop your contact list as much as possible. There are massive online opportunities to do this through social media. You can even build your own website and refer contacts to that. People often love to feel that they helped you, and exerted some influence on your behalf.
So identify the type of job you want to do, the area you want to work in, the companies you would love to work with-research the companies, and be sure you have something to offer them
Once you have targeted the organization and people you need to meet, ask your contacts if they know that person. When you find someone who does know them, ask what they know about them about them. What is their job, interests, style?
Do they have the contact details you need, would they be able to introduce you, do they think they could get you an appointment? Would they recommend that you meet them? Given the kind of job you are looking for, do they think it would be worth you two meeting?
If they do broker a meeting, don’t forget to thank that person, ideally in writing.
When you ask for the meeting, ask for just half an hour of their time, and then stick to that.
Present yourself as the solution to their problems -because presumably when you targeted them, you had something to offer them.
When you get to the meeting, present yourself as a resource that will solve their problems, add to their success.
Research the company thoroughly, prepare an agenda to see if there is a fit between you and the company.
All companies have problems they are trying to solve –find out what they are, either before or during the interview. Make sure you showcase how you can help them solve their problems. Remember to write a thank you note for their time.Richard Bolles, the author of probably the best selling job-hunting book in the world “What colour is your parachute?” states that this type of job hunting has an 86% success rate.