Are you part of the collective groan that rolls across the land every time someone mentions the word networking?
Use Temp Jobs & Consulting Gigs
Are you tired of being told you have to network your way into a job? If you are, and you’re unemployed, don’t worry, you can access the hidden job market through consulting and temporary work.
Potential Downside of Temporary & Consulting Work
Let’s get the downside out of the way first. If you take several temporary jobs and string them together on your resume, you might look unemployable. You can see how to avoid that on the first job shown on the sample resume here.
The Upside of Temporary Work
Taking a temporary job, with a company you want to work for, is better than an interview.
The temp job is an audition that lets you demonstrate your abilities and personality to managers, co-workers, and sources of referrals within the company in real life.
Thus, if you perform, temporary assignments become the ultimate networking opportunity.
Hidden Job Market Strategy for Temping & Consulting
Strategically, look for temporary gigs in organizations where you want to work. You might be an intern, a temp, a consultant, an interim executive, etc.
Once you’re inside, get to know people and climb the learning curve as quickly as you can.
You get to kick the tires too. Evaluate the company. When you feel sure that you like the company, share your interest in a permanent position. Ask your contacts how to learn about openings and ask them to recommend you.
Get Ahead of the Hidden Job Market
Hopefully, you will have made yourself an attractive candidate for openings. If you have, there’s a good chance the company will hire you without publicizing the job.
Dubious? I have received four job offers via this route. A resume client is in the process of negotiating an offer from one of his consulting clients.
When you take a temporary or consulting assignment with a targeted employer, you move yourself to the front of the line in the hidden job market — and you don’t have to network!
Image: Fotolia/creative soul
Updated June 2017
© 2010 – 2019, Donna Svei. All rights reserved.
Donna Svei, an executive resume writer and former C-level executive, retained search consultant, and CPA, writes all of AvidCareerist’s posts. She has written for and been quoted by leading business, general, and career media outlets, including Forbes, Mashable, Fast Company, Entrepreneur, Lifehacker, Ask.com, Social Media Today, IT World, Smart Brief, Payscale, Business News Daily, and the Muse. Let her background and experience inform your job search strategy and decision making.