Most job seekers conduct their search by applying for positions posted on various job search websites. They might look on LinkedIn, monster, indeed, or one of many industry-specific sites and identify appropriate jobs. While this tactic is an essential part of every job search, and while some people find jobs this way, the competition is enormous. If you saw the job online, so did hundreds or thousands of other qualified candidates who are also throwing their hat in the ring.
For many, a more fruitful job search strategy is to identify companies where you want to work, then approach them regarding what you have to offer. This “hidden job search” strategy has been effective for thousands of professionals who have created their dream job.
To conduct a “hidden job search,” the first step is to create a list of target companies. This practice, which requires a lot of research, allows you to take control of your search instead of letting the internet dictate what jobs you apply for. The next step is to identify the people you are connected with at those companies and to contact them to start conversations.
The holidays are a perfect time to do some valuable research on what companies you might want to work for. Here are my 5 top recommended websites for your job search over the holidays:
1. LinkedIn.com. LinkedIn is probably the best site for discovering your connections at any company. First, search for companies using the search bar and dropping down to Companies. Type in your keywords or the company name to get a list of companies that fit your target.
Once you choose a company you want to research, go to the company page where you will be informed of “How You’re Connected” to the people at that company. For instance, when I go to the Dell page, I am informed that I have 5 first-degree connections (including the Talent Acquisition Senior Advisor in Phoenix) and 4,406 second-degree connections there. If I wanted to know what it’s like to work at Dell, I’d have quite a few people to reach out to!
On the company page for most mid- to large-sized companies, you can look at the Careers tab to find out what jobs are available there. And if you want to get the company’s news, click on Follow to get their updates.
Challenge: There is no “Advanced Search” available for Companies, so you are not able to search based on location or other more refined terms.
2. CareerCloud.com. This site collects news articles (newspaper headlines, online media, and press releases) that indicate company expansion and restructuring. In other words, it saves you the work of doing a google search to find out what jobs might be opening up in your industry. From the home page, click on the Hidden Jobs app and you will be able to choose any U.S. state to see who’s hiring in that state. Then click on “view source” to read the news. It’s free!
Challenge: No ability to search by city, only state; and you don’t know what level of position might be available until you read the source material.
3. Manta.com. From the bottom section of Manta’s home page, you can search for both U.S. and non-U.S. companies by either industry or location. You can then filter your results by Company Revenue, Number of Employees, Type of Ownership (Public or Private), and Location Type (Headquarters, Branch or Single Location). Within any given industry, you can browse by location as well. You will get the company’s website and snail mail address and you’ll have the option to “Follow company” (an option that requires you to set up a free account).
Challenge: Although manta is a great tool for research, I don’t see the value of building a network here if you have a robust LinkedIn network. Without a network, you won’t find a lot of information about people who work at any given company.
4. ZoomInfo.com. From ZoomInfo’s home page, scroll down to the section that says “Browse ZoomInfo’s company directory…” You can search in the US or Canada for companies by industry and then by city. You can then click on any of the search results to found out a company’s address, web address, revenue and number of employees; look a bit further to discover title and contact information of key employees. With a free profile (Community Edition), you can view up to 80 contacts per month.
Challenge: Some of the information on this site is out of date. Links to companies often do not work. Also, the initial list of companies is merely alphabetical and does not have any filtering options, so you may find yourself clicking on company names rather blindly.
5. Glassdoor.com. If you’re looking for inside information on any company, this is the site for you. Click on the Companies tab, enter the name of a company and its location, and you’ll get an overall company rating by company employees, a list of salary ranges for various positions (a magic bullet for that dreaded “Salary Requirements” question!), reviews by employees including pros, cons, advice to senior management, and whether the person would recommend the company to a friend, and information about the company’s interview process and questions.
For full functionality, you’ll need to create an account. I’d say it’s worth it for the interview and salary information alone! The site also has job listings.
Challenge: The site is more integrated with Facebook than LinkedIn so you might not be able to find your professional connections at a company without logging in separately to LinkedIn. Also, it’s hard to tell whether information provided by company employees could be skewed.
Using a combination of all these resources for your research will give you a remarkable amount of information and will put you worlds beyond the average job seeker in terms of your confidence and preparedness in your job search.
Isn’t getting this kind of ammunition worth spending a bit of time during the holidays?
Please let me know what sites you’ve found the most useful for your job search research. And have a wonderful holiday!