Secrets to finding real job openings

May 25, 2010 at 2:31 am Leave a comment

One of the trickiest parts of landing a good job in a period of high unemployment — especially in certain industry segments, like media — is simply finding the real openings. So often, positions listed on job boards may already have been filled or will soon be filled by an internal candidate — the real opening may come several positions after that. And many employers, worried about being flooded by resumes, don’t publicize their openings or list them in more selective outlets — preferring to use their own networks to develop a small, targeted pool of candidates.

So, what’s a job hunter to do to find these positions and avoid wasting time on openings that likely will lead nowhere? Hiring experts say that you shouldn’t ignore listings on job boards and list-servs altogether, but should pursue them selectively as part of a more targeted strategy for finding real job openings. Here are some tips:

*View leads (like the ones offered here) as tip sheets. These openings provide a sense of who is hiring and for what kind of jobs. Rather than sending out your resume in rapid-fire fashion for a bunch of these openings, streamline your efforts to several organizations where you’d like to work that appear to be hiring. Study their listings to see what qualifications they desire, how these jobs fit in the broader organization and what they’re looking for in an application. Then, activate your network like crazy to try to find someone — a friend of a friend of a friend of a former colleague, if necessary! — who has a contact at this organization, who could get your resume in the door. Remember, you’re not necessarily applying for the opening you saw (for which many, many others may be throwing their hats in the ring) but you’re hoping to make a connection so that your resume will be atop the pile for other opportunities with this organization.

*Study where people are leaving. Often job hunters ignore the obvious — if someone is leaving a company, they likely will need to be replaced, and if not right away, some time down the road. If the organization hasn’t publicized this opening, so much the better; that means you may have a clearer shot if you make contact before others do. Sometimes the company doesn’t list the position because the hiring manager hasn’t been given authority to fill it. But once they do get the okay, the manager will want to move quickly (the phrase “use it or lose it” has very specific meaning to recruiters!) and if you’ve already expressed interest, you may have a head start on the competition. To determine where people are leaving in media, for instance, check out sites like and Also, pay attention to specialized sites like for radio and TV journalists, or or for financial journalists — there are sites and blogs for nearly every specialty. Also, don’t ignore newsletters published by associations — often they follow comings and goings that will help as you play “opening detective.”

*Tap your network in a targeted way. This is important even if you’re not actively job hunting but looking for future opportunities (which one should be doing anyway). Develop a list of companies where you’d like to work and jobs you’d be interested in pursuing, and then seek people in your network (including contacts they may have) that could help you get to know people there. That way, when an opening does occur, you’re more likely to know about it and to be in a position to go after it. This proactive approach is preached by hiring experts, who underscore that staying in touch with an organization over time and promoting your skills and interest rather than reacting to listings is still the very best way to land a job. This strategy may not bring instant gratification (hey, look, I applied for a bunch of jobs today!) but in a hotly competitive environment, it’s more likely to bring results. Patience is a job-hunting virtue.

*This Web “event” — on maximizing your social media skills, sponsored by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW) — takes place soon, this Wednesday, May 26. It’s free and hosted by some smart professionals — just log in and learn how to take your social-media search and networking skills up a notch:


Explore 15 new search tools, techniques and tricks to help you find what you need efficiently. From Aardvark to Quora, from Topsy to Spezify, we’ll dig into new sites that make social media searching easier. We’ll also look at fresh ways to search existing social media hubs, including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

WHO: Jeremy Caplan, visiting professor at the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism and a Time Magazine contributor ( Moderated by Mary Jane Pardue, associate professor of journalism, Missouri State University, and SABEW Training Committee co-chair.

WHEN: Wednesday, May 26, at 3 p.m. Eastern (2 p.m. Central, 1 p.m. Mountain, noon Pacific).


1) Navigate to this URL a few minutes before the start time listed above:

2) Next, dial (218) 339-2626 to hear the conference audio. Follow the setup instructions. When prompted, enter the access code: 4058935

You don’t need to RSVP. Simply open the URL above, call the phone number, and enjoy!

PLEASE NOTE: SABEW is transitioning its training sessions to Adobe Connect, a web-based meeting service that allows presenters to use rich media and participants to directly ask questions of presenters and chat with other Webinar attendees. If you don’t know whether your system supports Adobe Connect, click here<> to test it.

*And more smart job-search tips for new graduates (from which the rest of us can learn a thing or two as well!) from Kathy Kristof’s “Devil in the Details” column at CBS

*Speaking of new grads, thanks to those of you who already have volunteered to mentor as part of the “Help a New Grad Land a Job Challenge…” Several connections between mentors and those looking for jobs have been made; I’d love to make some more matches, so please be in touch if interested.

*And here’s a fresh batch of leads to check out:

*Dougherty & Associates in Alexandria has an opening for a communications manager:

Communications Manager
Dougherty & Associates, Inc – Alexandria, VA
training initiative. . Position Responsibilities: Establish strong relationships with VA communication stakeholders to develop comprehensive communications… $80,000 – $125,000 a year
From CareerBuilder

*Fairfax County, Va., has an opening for a communications specialist to manage the county’s Promotional Services Branch and also edit the quarterly Parktakes magazine:
Fairfax County Government – Fairfax, VA
edits management communications (reports, letters… of education, experience, and training equivalent to a bachelors degree in communication, business… $65 an hour

*This next opening could be of interest to a transitioning journalist with a background in the Middle East — the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in D.C. is looking for a senior manager of Middle East affairs:
Senior Manager Middle East Affairs
U.S. Chamber of Commerce – Washington, DC
and content for online communications vehicles… project management and written and verbal communication skills. Ability to speak and understand Middle…
From U.S. Chamber of Commerce

*For those in the sales part of the media business, Radio One has an opening in D.C. for a director of sales:

Director of Sales-Washington
Radio One, Inc. – Washington, DC
customer needs, price schedules, and discount rates.Directs staffing, training, and performance evaluations to develop and control sales program.§ Represents…
From Radio One, Inc.

*And last but not least today, here is what looks to be a fun summer internship opportunity (better get moving, though, it’s coming up quickly) — Allied Integrated Marketing, a PR agency, needs summer interns in D.C. to help with promotion and publicity for major film releases. Must love movies — aw, such tough duty. Here are the details:

Allied Dc

Allied Integrated Marketing, one of the nation’s leading entertainment PR agencies, is looking for qualified interns in the Publicity & Promotions Division for the SUMMER 2010 SEMESTER. Interns will assist account executives on marketing campaigns for all of the latest motion picture releases.

Interns will work on the promotional and publicity campaigns for major film releases, and will learn to work with the local entertainment press and media partners. We’re looking for bright, creative self-starters with a winning attitude. Excellent communication skills are a must. Communications and marketing majors a plus. All internships are paid or can be done for school credit.

• You must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate program at a Washington, DC area school.
• You must be available to work 2-3 weekdays per week (9:00a-5:30p).
• You must be available to cover movie screenings at least two nights a week (Mon – Thurs).
• Some weekend work will also be necessary.
• Previous promotions or publicity experience a plus.
• Must love movies!


No phone calls.

Happy hunting!



Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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