Finding your dream job requires patience, determination and the ability to make meaningful connections to the people who have the authority to hire you. If you're looking for a position in a relatively small industry or niche within a larger industry, you'll need to conduct a hyper-focused search.
Here are five tips to help you leave crowded job boards behind and uncover exciting opportunities:
1. Network with working professionals
A 2016 survey conducted by veteran HR professional Lou Adler found that 85% of jobs are filled via networking. Many positions often never make it to online job boards, or, if they do, are gone almost as fast as they arrive.
Therefore, if you want to speed up your job search and find a meaningful position that utilizes your talent and experience, you need to talk to people who can help you. Sites like LinkedIn can assist you in finding professionals who are willing to discuss their work.
2. Write about your passion
Landing a niche job is a unique challenge because you will be competing for a smaller number of positions. And the higher you go in an organization, the fewer positions there will be. So how do you get considered for these jobs if you have limited experience?
To convince hiring managers to interview you, consider starting a website or blog where you write about relevant subjects. When managers look to fill niche positions, they want to hire experts who know what they're talking about. You can demonstrate your expertise and passion for a subject by writing articles and guides or making videos.
"During the hiring process, it can be tempting to try to put every candidate – and employer, for that matter – into specific boxes," says Chris Wilcock, Senior Marketing Coordinator for Beacon Hill Staffing Group. "One way you can fight the temptation is by creating something, such as a blog, that is dedicated to the areas you are interested in. While this may not help you get your resume noticed, it will lead to deeper and more meaningful conversations as you move along in the interview process, because the employer will have a fuller picture of what you bring to the table."
3. Consider volunteer work
If you haven't yet reached a level of expertise that will have hiring managers calling your phone night and day, you may need to accrue more experience. For example, recent college graduates may have the theoretical knowledge to complete a job, but lack the real-world experience to be considered top candidates.
Volunteering with non-profit organizations can help you obtain the practical skills you need to compete for niche jobs. Someone who wants to become a supply chain manager could work with a charity to help coordinate inventory transfers, for instance. However, before volunteering, be sure to consider the practical applications of the work you'll be doing. Your professional network will be key in this – knowing someone with the organization you'll be volunteering for, or knowing someone in a similar position, will help suss out if the experience you'll gain will be truly valuable.
4. Offer consulting services
Why wait until someone offers you a job to start working? You can begin accruing experience and building your network by starting a consulting business on the side. This can be a great option if you want to transition out of an unrelated field.
According to HR entrepreneur and Forbes Magazine contributor Liz Ryan, you can start a part-time consulting business for the price of a stack of business cards. Think about the skills you already possess and the types of business pain points you've already solved. Then, use that knowledge to help other businesses and professionals. Someone may just offer to hire you based on your work as a consultant.
5. Have a conversation with a professional recruiter
Today, many organizations depend on professional recruiters to identify and appraise job seekers for critical positions. Recruiters can help you fine-tune your interview strategy, and provide tips on how to engage with employers. If you've only been applying to online job postings, a single conversation with a recruiter can open the door to many new possibilities.
You don't have to search for niche jobs alone. Connect with a professional recruiter from Beacon Hill Staffing Group to learn more.