The Job Exchange

Tapping Into The Hidden Job Market

Even in this job market, you can still stand out

From the Boston Globe

Given 2009’s lingering economic gloom, there are two kinds of people today: those who are in the job market hunting for their next position and those who worry that they may be any day now. And the job market is suddenly a very crowded place.

At Boston Search Group, managing director Clark Waterfall says his firm saw a 30 percent drop in the number of executive searches it was asked to conduct in the fourth quarter of 2008, but it saw a 50 percent increase in the number of job seekers who asked to be put into BSG’s database of interested candidates.

“That’s what you’d call an imbalance of supply and demand,” Waterfall says. At Constant Contact, an e-mail marketing firm in Waltham, chief executive Gail Goodman says that a single open position can result in a cascade of more than 250 resumes.

To provide a bit of guidance, I spoke with CEOs, human resources managers, and recruiters, asking what advice they’d give people who are looking for a new job, or those who want to be well-positioned in the event they’re cut loose.


02/22/2009 - Posted by | jobs | , ,


  1. Dealing With the Stigma of Your Former Employer


    In addition to the woes of finding a job in economic downturn, some people are faced with an extra challenge of having companies with unimpressive ethics records tainting their resume. Here, Debbie Brown, a career coach and president of D&B Consulting Inc., talks about how job seekers can get around having worked for a stigmatized company.

    What should a job seeker coming from a company that’s been in trouble or singled out for negative practices keep in mind when starting his search?

    You shouldn’t be afraid to address it and with a lot of these companies that have gotten bad press, it’s just a handful of people (involved). If you’re not upfront with it and they have certain ideas they are just going to pass you up; you have to proactive.

    Should a job seeker make sure to discuss the experience at a tainted company at some point during the interview process? And if so, when is a good time?

    Definitely, you need to deal with it right away. When you talk about your resume and an interviewer asks you about it, you should honestly speak about your feelings and why you are looking at companies that have an excellent reputation. People like to be complimented on their organization.

    What’s a good job search tactic to use if you’re coming from a company with a less-then-stellar record?

    Identify companies you’d like to work for and contact these people explaining your background, in most cases you are going to want to attach a resume. Then when you are following up with a phone call, you have more control over the situation than when you’re just applying for a position (with other applicants) and don’t have much control. You have to be visible.

    What’s the simplest way to provide an explanation about your experience with your most recent employer? If it’s public knowledge they are certainly going to ask you about your experience and if you have sort of a black mark on your resume, one way you can get around that is writing in a cover letter and offering some kind of explanation. It’s particularly important if you are really going in there cold.

    Is there anything else that job seekers should keep in mind when broaching the subject of their former employer? Focus on what you have to offer the company. It’s good to talk about what you learned from working at a company that was having a difficult time and has gotten some bad press and how your experience (of navigating through this situation) can add value.

    Comment by Bear | 02/22/2009 | Reply

  2. I know several co-workers and friends working or seeking additional part time work. Saving the extra money in case they get laid off and at the same time, getting their foot in the door of a new company – Just in case!!

    Comment by Jackie | 02/22/2009 | Reply

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