Creating Your Selling Points for the Hidden Job Market

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With most of the jobs landed coming through the hidden job market it is imperative that you get going on a targeted job hunt. A good first step in identifying this market is to develop your own unique selling points. Going through the exercise of finding yours is worth the time put in, as they are used in your resumes, cover letters, networking events, communications and in your efforts to contact employers.

Once these have been created, you will be way ahead of most job seekers, who do not take the time to do this. When you have figured out who the employers are that may have ‘hidden needs’, you will have clear examples of your fit in the organization and have the successful components to your communications with them.

Your selling points are based on your performance (proven track record), experience, and training as well as on your own preferences–What do you like to do? What do you do well? What do you want to learn and keep on learning?

How do you find your selling points?

1. Search for jobs in CareerShift, looking at position descriptions. When you see something that you say “I can do that”, write it down. Create a list of “I can do that” statements. Make sure these are things you want to do.

2. Then, in another column, write down performance statements that show where and how you have done this activity and the value to the employer. Be specific, using numbers when you can. As you learn more about employer needs, you will pick up the best ways to present your selling points.

3. Take a look at other resumes in your field. Although what you see may not be great, you’ll get an idea of how others in your field present themselves and their selling points.

4. Then visit a Career Center or locate your local workforce board and see available job seeker resources at for help with defining your selling points.

Career Centers are excellent at helping you work through the creation of your selling points and goals. Classes, workshops, resource centers and individual counseling have proven to make a big difference to the job search.

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Val Matta
Val Matta
Val Matta, Managing Director of CareerShift, co-founded the company in 2005 to help individuals bridge the gap between education and employment.  As a recognized expert in the field, Val is a frequent speaker on career management, networking, and job hunting strategies.  You can connect with her and the CareerShift team on FacebookLinkedIn, and Twitter.