In January, The Wall Street Journal wrote about the rise of the so-called “phantom job listing.”
These are jobs that an employer posts (typically on its own website) after it has identified a new hire. While the new hire may not be set in stone, he or she has a much greater chance of getting the job than the dozens of new applicants that have started to apply.
Instead of getting frustrated by this practice (which is legal), career coach David Couper recommends that job seekers start the application process before a position is formally announced.
“I recommend that people make a list of all the companies they want to target rather than waiting until the job is advertised,” Couper, who authored the book Outsiders on the Inside: How to Create a Winning Career…Even When You Don’t Fit In!, told StreetID.
Job seekers are encouraged to make a connection before it’s too late. This does not necessarily involve a cold call, which can be difficult in any circumstance. Couper recommends a slightly different strategy: warm calling.
To make a warm call, you should have an established connection to the prospective employer. This could be something as simple as a previous meeting or a connection via social media. LinkedIn can be very helpful in this regard.
If you have not had the chance to meet the person you want to call, search for events that he or she may be attending. Again, take advantage of the benefits that social media has to offer.
Look for events that other company representatives may attend as well. It does not have to be a formal hiring event where the company intends to acquire new talent. The firm may be coming to meet with other organizations. Depending on the type of event, there may be a speaker that attracts employers.
If all else fails and you decide to send a resume, job posting or not, Couper said that regular mail is probably best.
“The problem with certified mail is that it is usually used to send a writ [such as a subpoena to appear before a court],” said Couper.
For that reason, employers are not terribly excited when they see a certified letter come through the mail.
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These days, job seekers have a million options, but we know where they should turn: StreetID. We built StreetID (a financial career matchmaking website) from the ground up to accommodate Wall Street’s growing community of financial professionals. In good times and in bad, current job seekers and those looking to move on in the future can turn to StreetID and sign up for a free account and make a direct connection with relevant candidates and employers.