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The hidden job market


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You've followed instructions and scheduled a meeting with the head of the group you'd like to work in, but you don't think there are any job openings. What do you say in this kind of meeting?

This webinar will help you successfully navigate the informational/exploratory meeting process so that more of these meetings lead to job interviews and offers. Key takeaways include:

- Understanding of the value of meeting with potential hiring managers even when there is no current job opening

- How to make a strong and lasting first impression so that hiring managers will want you to come back to meet their boss and colleagues

- How to make get hiring managers excited and feel a sense of urgency about bringing someone like you on board

Sarah Stamboulie, Ivy Exec's Senior Career Coach, formerly led Alumni Career Services at Columbia Business School and headed HR departments at Morgan Stanley, Cantor Fitzgerald, and Nortel.

Published in: Education
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The hidden job market

  1. 1. The Hidden Job Market:Getting From Informational Interview to Job OfferSarah Stamboulie, Sr. Career Coach, Ivy Exec Want more info? Email us at 1
  2. 2. About Sarah Stamboulie• Sarah led Alumni Career Services at Columbia Business School, overseeing career programming and resources for 36,000 alumni throughout the world.• Earlier in her career, Sarah served as the head of Human Resources at both Morgan Stanley and Cantor Fitzgerald. She holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.• Sarah has been featured in publications such as Forbes and AM New York, and has made television appearances on Fox 5 News and CBS Moneywatch Want more info? Email us at 2
  3. 3. Participant Poll1. What is your current employment situation? a. Unemployed and fully focused on job search (or should be) b. Working as well as job-hunting c. Working and planning to job-hunt2. How many informational interviews have you had in the last four months with potential hiring managers*? a. 0 - 2 b. 3 - 9 c. 10 or more* Someone who would be your boss if he/she got an opening and hired you. Want more info? Email us at 3
  4. 4. The Hidden Job Market, “Part II”• Tonight we will cover what you do once you‟ve gotten the information interview scheduled.• For Part I, how to get informational interviews: Ivy Exec members can: o get an overview of process from earlier webinars o learn specific techniques and get tools and templates as part of an individual coaching package. Want more info? Email us at 4
  5. 5. Two Kinds of Informational Interviews1. “Informational Interview” that‟s really for information (with someone at your level)2. “Informational Interview” that you hope will lead to a job interview – more of an exploratory meeting (with someone at the level that could hire you if they had an opening)**this second type will be our main focus in this webinar Want more info? Email us at 5
  6. 6. True Informational Interviews• Have 3-6 purely informational interviews before going for a role that you haven‟t had before. o “Working closely with” or “working across from” people doing your target role is not enough!• Use similar questions and techniques to those used at an exploratory meeting.• Places where you don‟t want to work (i.e. due to geography) are ideal for true informational meetings Want more info? Email us at 6
  7. 7. Tips for Telephone Informational Interviews• Take telephone interviews seriously and research the interviewer the same way you would for an in-person meeting• Use a landline if possible and eliminate all sources of background noise, including other phones• Don‟t forget to make usual small talk• Get the interviewer talking as much as possible• Say no more than two sentences at a time before pausing• Don‟t rush off the phone – (you very much enjoyed the conversation, etc.) and ask about next steps• Send detailed follow-up letters Want more info? Email us at 7
  8. 8. Moving on to Exploratory MeetingsYou are ready to meet with hiring managers when:1. You‟ve done the same job as your target job at two or more organizations just like your target organization (and some of the time was in the last two years) OR2. You‟ve had 3-6 informational interviews with people doing the exact role you are targeting at very similar organizations AND You‟ve been told that you “sound like an insider” or something similar. Want more info? Email us at 8
  9. 9. Path from Exploratory Meeting to Job Offer1. First meeting -- an exploratory meeting with hiring manager1. Second meeting -- you are referred to (or ask for): a. An exploratory meeting/job interview with hiring manager‟s boss, peer, or employee (or an internal recruiter) OR b. A meeting with a hiring manager in another dept. or company, in which case it‟s like another first meeting2. Subsequent meetings (in same group) -- like regular job interviews but more leeway to influence the position Want more info? Email us at 9
  10. 10. Continuous Research and Questions• Research and ask questions before, during, and after your meetings and interviews• If you keep your target appropriately narrow, the research for each organization will overlap and it will get easier o Use the meeting to fill out the blanks o Then do more research as part of your follow-up Want more info? Email us at 10
  11. 11. 1: Hiring Manager – Initial ResearchBecome an expert on the hiring manager:• Study hiring manager‟s LinkedIn profile in detail• Google interviewer and read more than one page of results• Think about what he or she is likely to like and not like about you and your background (and ways to present yourself in a better light) Want more info? Email us at 11
  12. 12. 2: Business ModelLearn everything about the business/funding model:• What are its products or • Is there another source of services? income?• What are its short- and long- • What are the major term goals? expenses?• Who are its customers? • Who are the major and minor• What is the client life cycle? competitors?• How and how much do they • What are the major risks? pay? Want more info? Email us at 12
  13. 13. 3: Hiring Manager‟s RoleCompletely understand your desired boss‟s role:• Who is his/her boss(s) and other internal clients?• What are his/her job responsibilities?• What are his/her biggest challenges?• What milestones would lead to dramatic success for him or her? Want more info? Email us at 13
  14. 14. 4: Rest of Departments‟ RolesWork to so completely understand the department that you could draw an org chart:• Who else/what other areas does desired boss manage?• What are each team member‟s job responsibilities?• Does team have the right mix of skills?• What are the biggest challenges in the group?• What is the workload like? Want more info? Email us at 14
  15. 15. 5: Your Desired Position/WorkCompletely understand work done in your desired role: • What are the exact day-to-day job responsibilities? • What are the big cyclical projects? • What performance milestones would lead to a big bonus or promotion? • What contact is there with other departments? • What contact is there with external clients? Want more info? Email us at 15
  16. 16. 6: Continuously Learn About Them• Before each meeting, write out all the questions you can‟t answer and bring them to the meeting• After each meeting, write out the questions you still have and bring them to the next meeting Want more info? Email us at 16
  17. 17. Why such a focus on the work?“People who want to change [jobs] are usually limited by failureto understand the day-to-day tasks and functions of the new[job] they want. The more you learn about the work you want todo prior to applying for a job, the more attractive you will be tothe employer. Don‟t wait for on-the-job training. Don‟t wait for amanager to figure out „how you would fit in.‟ Make theinvestment yourself, or don‟t pursue the job.” Nick Corcodilos, Ask the Headhunter Want more info? Email us at 17
  18. 18. First Half of Initial Meeting With Hiring Manager Your goals for the first half of the meeting: 1. To fully understand the hiring manager‟s job 2. To understand his/her organization 3. To understand his/her unmet needs, if any 4. To determine if you could be a solution to those needs Want more info? Email us at 18
  19. 19. Second Half of Initial Meeting – Not a FitIf you are not a great fit for the hiring manager‟s needs: 1. Refer him to information, another candidate or a consulting firm 2. Describe the exact category (function, dept, companies, geography) of manager you wish to meet 3. If they know anyone, ask for an introduction, and then email some talking points for him or her to use Want more info? Email us at 19
  20. 20. Second Half of Initial Meeting – FitIf you could be a solution to the manager‟s unmet needs: 1. Explore those needs further with the hiring manager and in the process amplify them 2. Encourage the hiring manager to talk about his/her boss and other team members and remember their names as you will want to meet with them next 3. Ask for a meeting with boss or other decision maker, either on the spot or as part of the follow-up/thank you process Want more info? Email us at 20
  21. 21. Subsequent Meetings• If referred to different group: handle like it‟s a first informational interview• If referred to another member of group (hiring manager‟s boss, peer, employee, or an internal recruiter) o Goals are to further understand and amplify the group‟s needs o If meeting with an internal recruiter, to answer the questions well Want more info? Email us at 21
  22. 22. General Tips: Avoid These Topics• How difficult the job search is• What your perfect career would be• Why you are “perfect” for the job or “uniquely” qualified for the job• How their work is exactly like what you have done in the past• The wrong decisions made by your previous boss/company/colleagues Want more info? Email us at 22
  23. 23. General Tips: Display Unwavering Positivity!• Never say anything negative about anything, even the weather!• Smile as much as possible• When answering questions, begin each answer with a broad-based, positive statement conveying positive emotion about the subject of your answer• Then bring it back to them and/or ask them a question Want more info? Email us at 23
  24. 24. General Tips: Keep Focus on Them• When interviewing with a hiring manager you should be talking 1/3 – 1/2 of the time, mainly in the second half• Never talk for more than a minute without pausing so they can redirect Want more info? Email us at 24
  25. 25. General Tips: Act Like an Employee• Talk to them about their work, not about your career aspirations• A good interview feels like an idea-generating, problem-solving meeting between two professionals who aren‟t working together yet, but should be Want more info? Email us at 25
  26. 26. General Tips: The Overall Vibe is Important• With a potential manager who doesn‟t have an opening/headcount right now, ask yourself: “they can‟t hire anyone right now, but am I “feeling some love?”• If you‟re not sure, ask: If you were hiring right now, would you hire someone like me?• If you get feedback like “Well, no, because you don‟t have experience in the X or Y segment of what we do here,” don‟t generalize, but rather check if you get a similar answer elsewhere (If so, you will need to adjust your targets or position yourself better) Want more info? Email us at 26
  27. 27. General Tips: Answering Tough QuestionsFor instance, if they ask “Tell Me About Yourself?”• Try to postpone lengthy answers until you‟ve gotten them talking about their priorities• Might begin answer with: “I‟ve been very fortunate with my career” and then tell a concise story• Discuss your prior performance and successes that match the company‟s three key needs• End with a reference to them or a question for them Want more info? Email us at 27
  28. 28. General Tips: Try a Variety of Questions• If you could change one thing about this department, what would it be?• Whats one thing that‟s key to your success that somebody from outside the company wouldnt know?• To help me understand your role, what would you need to accomplish this year that would be considered “hitting it out of the park?”• If you could hire, what are 3 key things you‟d like the new hire to accomplish? Want more info? Email us at 28
  29. 29. Final Stages: Increase Their Sense of Urgency • What you want to do is actually amplify (increase) their pain about their unmet needs • In other words, delve into the problems you‟ve learned about to get them more unhappy with the status quo of not having you on the team! Want more info? Email us at 29
  30. 30. “Amplify the Pain” - Brutal WorkloadIf there is too much work, you might ask the manager:• Is the heavy workload affecting the team‟s satisfaction/morale?• Are you concerned about losing some good employees?• Are you able to meet all your goals or quotas?• Might your lack of extra bandwidth prevent senior management from being able to give you more responsibility and/or promote you? Want more info? Email us at 30
  31. 31. “Amplify the Pain” - Undone Projects• Will the undone projects possibly cause problems with management later on or at review time?• Is there any legal or security risk that might result? Want more info? Email us at 31
  32. 32. “Amplify the Pain” - Lost Opportunities• How much revenue might [the opportunity they aren‟t pursuing] bring in?• How much business do you think [x competitor] is getting from pursuing [y opportunity]? Want more info? Email us at 32
  33. 33. Follow-up – Bare Minimum• E-mail within 2 - 48 hours to everyone you meet with, every time.• Don‟t just thank them – o Write thoughtful letters, focusing on their interests and needs, showing that you remember and take interest in their views• Confirm any follow-up discussed (e.g., next meeting) Want more info? Email us at 33
  34. 34. Follow-up – When You Really Want to Work There Create a business plan to apply your skills to meet departmental and company challenges: • Define top-level problems and challenges the department faces • Define the work: tasks and skills you will use, new skills you need • Estimate profit you can bring to the bottom line (Profit may mean higher revenues, lower costs, new efficiencies, increased customer satisfaction, etc.) Want more info? Email us at 34
  35. 35. Why the Business Plan Works• Before you can legitimately ask for a job, you must assess the needs of a company and plan how you will contribute to its success• By defining the work an employer needs done and showing exactly how you will apply your skills, you can demonstrate your value in the new work Want more info? Email us at 35
  36. 36. IF YOU ONLY REMEMBER ONE THING: “He who talks least wins” (They will love you more for listening) Want more info? Email us at 36
  37. 37. GET INDIVIDUAL HELP IF:• You do not have a very clear job target• You are not getting lots of meetings with hiring managers• You are not getting 2nd interviews• You‟ve had a lot of 2nd or greater interviews but haven‟t closed• You aren‟t positive that you negotiate well Want more info? Email us at 37
  38. 38. Addendum Getting Meetings:Four Methods, All Challenging! Want more info? Email us at 38
  39. 39. Formal Job Market - Job PostingsSteps to get a meeting with hiring manager via job posting:1. Tailor your resume to fit the job description and write a cover letter showing how you fit the job perfectly (focused on you rather than the hiring manager and his/her group)2. Be fortunate enough to apply to ad during the period when the recruiting team is actually reading the resumes they receive3. Have one of the 3-10 best-fitting resumes for the job, of all the tens or hundreds of resumes read, such that the internal recruiter or assistant selects you4. Interview well enough with the internal recruiter that he/she passes you on to the hiring manager Want more info? Email us at 39
  40. 40. Formal Job Market - RecruitersSteps to get a meeting with hiring manager via executive search/headhunters1. Land a meeting/all with external recruiter by having your resume or LinkedIn profile found or by contacting recruiter2. Be such an extremely close fit for one of their job descriptions so that they recommend you to a hiring manager3. Be lucky enough that the hiring manager agrees you‟re a close fit so will meet with you Want more info? Email us at 40
  41. 41. Hidden Job Market - Networking/Referral Steps to get a meeting with hiring manager via networking/referral1. Compose a message about your interest in the hiring manager and his/her work/dept/company (focused on hiring manager and not you)2. Persuade the mutual connection to use your message to contact the hiring manager on your behalf OR Contact the hiring manager yourself using the mutual connection‟s name3. Be fortunate enough that their relationship is strong enough that the person agrees to meet with you Want more info? Email us at 41
  42. 42. Hidden Job Market - Direct ContactSteps to get a meeting with hiring manager via direct contact:1. Compose a message about your interest in hiring manager and his/her group (focused on hiring manager and not you)2. Contact the hiring manager directly by email, phone, mail or in person (i.e., at an event) and convince him or her to meet with you Want more info? Email us at 42
  43. 43. Ivy Exec – Job Search CoachingJob Search Materials and Pitch Creation: A hands-on approach to crafting yourverbal and written value proposition for target roles.Job Search Strategy Generation and Optimization: An experts advice on anybottlenecks in your job search strategy and taking your search to the next level.Prep for Informational/Exploratory Meetings: Informational meeting prep &practice using a customized approach leveraging draft e-mails & phone scripts.Job Interview Preparation: Learn advanced interview techniques, practice toughinterview questions and prepare for 1st/2nd/3rd-round interviews and follow-ups.Offer Negotiation Guidance: Practice step-by-step responses for each offer andoptimize your salary negotiations. Want more info? Email us at 43
  44. 44. Want More Info?Email us at to learn more about working with Sarah and Ivy Exec‟s Career Coaching. Want more info? Email us at 44