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Hidden Job Market Logo

The best jobs are never advertised.

Find out why and what to do about it.
How to network, research employers and create your own Hidden Job Market plan.

Make Contact with the Employer

Once you have identified your selling points, focused on a target position and industry and identified a list of companies that are a good match, you are ready to make contact with the employer. Your goals at this step? To learn as much as you can about the employer's needs, to identify the hiring authority within the company and TO GET AN INTERVIEW.

For expert advice on this essential step, JobStar asked Donald Asher, author of many books and articles on Hidden Job Market Techniques, to share his best tips.

Use a CALL-WRITE-CALL model for contacting employers.

First, call and verify the name and title of someone in the company who might be able to hire you. In order to do this, you must be able to inquire about a specific type of job. You cannot simply call employers and ask if they have any openings, or you will NOT seem like a promising candidate. So, before you call any employer, prepare a script of what you will say:

Hello, I'm ...

I got your name from/by ...

I'm interested in ...

Who would be in charge of that?

This should take about 20 or 30 seconds to say, no longer! Here are three full length examples.

In general, avoid talking to the actual decision maker on this first call. (If you DO get connected, just follow the scripts below for talking to a decision-maker.) If you don't know anybody at the company at all, when you first call ask for someone by title, such as "I need to write a letter to your head of accounting. May I know his or her name, please?" If you can't think of anyone at all, ask for the president. You won't reach her, but her secretary will help you out.

Second, send a cover letter and resume to the decision maker. In the letter, be sure to say that you're looking for a particular kind of job, and then state that you'll be calling them within 48 hours! In business, everything happens within a day or so. If you say you'll call in a week or so, you're ancient history.

Third, call again, this time asking for the decision maker by name and title. If anyone asks why you're calling, you can truthfully say, "She's expecting my call." Using this CALL-WRITE-CALL model, every time you call a decision maker, it will be a warm call, not a cold call.

For more on this, see Donald Asher's Overnight Job Changer Letter.

Scripts for Approaching Employers

When you reach the decision maker, use a script like this:
Hello, I'm ...

I got your name from/by ...

I'm interested in ...

Would you have a moment to discuss this with me?

This simple technique results in eight times as many interviews as just mailing in your resume and waiting for them to call you. In the middle of a horrific downturn in automobile manufacturing in Michigan, a young man used this technique for only one day, and lined up 18 interviews!!!!!! It's simple, it works, and you don't even have to be clever to use it. Just use it.

One problem you'll encounter right away: Gatekeepers, those secretaries, receptionists and clerks who try to keep you away from the decision maker. Here's how to get past them, to reach the decision makers you've identified:

1. Call until you get through to the decision maker, at least once per day, at least ten business days in a row.

2. Call early, late, at 10:05, and during lunch time to get around the gatekeeper.

3. Walk in, say you were just in the neighborhood, and ask if the decision maker would have "just a moment" to speak with you.

Another problem you'll encounter is: Objections.

1. They say: "I'm too busy."

You say: "This'll only take a moment."

2. They say: "We're not hiring."

You say: "That's OK, I know you know a lot of people in this field, and I just want to know what ideas, leads, or referrals you might have for me. This'll only take a moment."

3. They say: "Send me a resume and I'll think about it."

You say: "Let me tell you what's on it...." or "I'll fax it to you right now and call you right back."

Another problem you'll encounter is: Voicemail.
1. Leave your name and number, and then say, "But you don't need to ring me back. I'll call you again." Then do so, until you reach them.

2. If you have a direct line, call over and over and over until you catch the decision maker at her desk.

For more scripts and tips, see Donald Asher's Overnight Job Change Strategy.