Would it surprise you to know that more than 80% of positions are filled by direct and indirect job leads? It’s true! So, how do you break into this “hidden job market?” Well, first, you need to get your tools up to par (LinkedIn profile and résumé for starters). Next, you need to get busy.

How? By networking!

Let everyone you know that you’re open to new opportunities. You never know who can help you until you start asking. Brainstorm a list of fifty people to network with – don’t edit. It’s just a list. Refer to your contacts on social media, your email, and phone lists. Create a spreadsheet or chart and keep track of your conversations.

Search out influencers, recruiters, or corporate decision-makers and start building relationships through LinkedIn. Do this by following them, and then commenting and adding valuable content to their posts. It shows your thought leadership but puts you ahead of everyone who is merely clicking “like” and moving on.

Be ready to deliver your 30-second elevator pitch so that it’s ready when a recruiter unexpectedly asks. It should describe wins from your previous experience and your value proposition. In other words, the benefits that YOU can repeat for THEM.

Stuck on whom to seek out? Take a peek at the table below, and if you have a success story about how you snagged your latest job, please comment so I can share it with my network.

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