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Coffee, Careers and the Hidden Job Market 1

Presentation on Informational Interviews (or Coffee Meetings). Includes how coffee meetings are beneficial, how to get meetings, how to conduct oneself in a meeting, and how to follow up meaningfully.

Eric Pye

on 14 December 2017

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Transcript of Coffee, Careers and the Hidden Job Market 1

Careers and the
Hidden Job Market
The Hidden Job Market
How coffee helps
Arranging coffee meetings
Meeting basics
Eric Pye, Career Advisor, CPA Alberta
Now you see it...
now you don't...
Everyone sees posted roles
Hundreds of applications
Selection process super-competitive
If you don't network in, you'll be networked out
Estimate: 50-80% of jobs not posted
Positions filled through networks: "Better the devil you know..."
Trust factor: Referrals get interviews
Industry, company, departments, roles
Products and services, culture, career path, desired skills
Write better cover letters, tailor resume
Industries, companies to target for search
Best way to enter industry, organization
Skills to develop, courses to take
Departments, managers or jobs (based on interests, goals and abilities) to target
Creative input:
Strong ties: may edit suggestions based on "knowledge" of likes/skills
Weak ties: Potentially more creative ideas, freer with input, get “outside-the-box” options
Hidden job market:
Meet people with power to hire
Be part of their networks
Learn about un-posted roles
Compete against fewer applicants
Ask connection to support application, hand-deliver to HR
Recommendation may bypass electronic scanning and filtering
Ensure application reviewed positively
Guarantee an interview?
Confidence and Motivation:
Practice interviewing and self-marketing skills
Repeat positive stories, self-motivate
More confident and positive tailoring resume and preparing cover letters
Overcome discrimination/bias:
Recruiter may stereotype mature worker, millennial, immigrant, over/under-qualified, employment gaps, etc.
Overcome "elephants" through support from hiring manager, insiders
Elevator Pitch
30-45 second self-introduction
Branding, skills and goals
Where you grew up, academic history, and past employment.
Current work, education and accomplishments.
Relevant project/skills. Your unique selling point (USP).
Your desired outcome
from connecting.
“I'm Kay. I grew up in Africa and moved to Canada in my early teens. I went to high school and university in Ontario, and graduated with an Economics Degree from McMaster University. In my early career I worked as a consumer loans advisor in a bank.”
“4 years ago I transitioned to accounting, and now I’m a Cash Control Analyst with the City of Calgary. I’m enrolled in the CPA pre-requisite education program, and expect to be designated in 2018.”
“In my role with the City, I recently helped create a new process for recording and reporting Recreation Department income that reduced input times for facility staff by 50%.”
“I’m interested in advancing my career as a process accountant, broadening my organizational and analytical skills and using my CPA learning, while working towards a more senior accounting role.”
Tailor to the Situation
Shorten, delete, embellish...
"I'm Kay. I studied Economics at McMaster University and I've lived in Calgary for six years. I’m a Cash Control Analyst with the City, and am studying for the CPA. I recently reworked an internal income reporting process that reduced input times by 50%. I’d like to learn more about your company, and am hoping you can give me advice for advancing into a more senior process accounting role.”
Hi Adam, I saw on LinkedIn that you know Jeff Pearson at United Way. I’m wondering if you can introduce me. I’d like to (learn about United Way and their operations, and also get some advice to help me with career direction decisions). If you can introduce me, I will only need about 15-20 minutes of Jeff's time, I’m happy to meet anywhere convenient, and coffee's on me. Looking forward to hearing back from you. Regards, Eric
Send note to connection and wait for response about meeting.
Decide who to target for meeting

Discover how connected
Filter for 1st/2nd-degree and location
Follow "Mutual Connections" link
Warm ties
friends & family
Specific ask:
No: "If you think of anyone I should talk with, please introduce me..."
Yes: "Do you know anyone at United Way? In non-profit?"
Networking Events
Seminars/PD sessions
Kids' school events
Exchange business cards
Follow up after event
Invite out for longer, more meaningful discussion
Send Resume
Ask permission first
"Would you like me to send you a copy of my resume before our meeting so you know my background?"
Basic Professionalism
Be early and get table
Dress appropriately
Offer to pay for coffee
Be prepared, researched
Be respectful of time commitment
Questions & Discussion
Finish Well
Remember meeting purpose
Learn about partner/company:
Career decisions (not path)
Work challenges
Org. Structure & Culture
How to get hired
Tell about self and ask advice/ideas
Show gratitude
Summarize learnings from meeting
Ask for further intros:
"Based on our meeting today, is there anyone in your network you think I should talk to?"
Thank You!
Thank You #1
Thank for intro to Person B
Tell about Person B meeting plan
Value add:
Update on job search and networking
Share article/link
Thank for and recap Person B meeting
Value add:
Learnings from Person B
Job search and networking progress
Person B introduced Person C
Recap Person C meeting
Value add:
Learnings from Person C
Job search and decision-making progress
Person C introduced Person D
Thank You #2
Thank You #3
Thank You #4
Thank Person A for meeting
Value add:
Share website
Remind to introduce Person B
Use thank you notes for purposeful, meaningful follow-up:
Continuous updates
Show how initial meeting has impacted networking and search
Remind of continued search
Remain "top of mind"
Who I met
What we discussed
What I learned
Record follow-ups
Networking Spreadsheet
The "black hole" of job applications
Recruiters & job-seekers have opposite strategies
Career/Industry Changer:
Application (20% jobs): Filtered out for lack of specific technical skills
Recruiter/Headhunter (10%): Hired by company to find specialist
Network/Referral (70%): Someone knows, trusts and supports you
Start with Organization. Research People.
Who will best support you in connecting?
Even students and unemployed
should have business cards
Profession /
Skills / Interests
Pitch = Past + Present + Value + Future
Full transcript