The Secret to Getting Hired In Today's Job Market

job search tipsYou all know someone who is either out of work or in the throes of the job application process. Maybe you are even trying to move up at your current place of employment or get a pay raise. Either way, you know one thing for sure: It's harder to get a job today than ever before.

But rather than blame the economy or corporations, what you need to be asking yourself is: Am I looking for a job the right way?

In his debut novel, 'Headhunter Hiring Secrets,' Skip Freeman, president and chief executive officer of the Hire To Win Group, an Atlanta, Ga., executive search firm, lays it on the line for all job seekers out there: "Job seekers who continue to rely exclusively, or nearly exclusively, upon the Internet for job leads will no longer be seeing the whole picture."

The hiring rules have changed -- permanently

Gone are the days when looking for a job was an easy process that could be done from the comfort of your home with a nothing more than an e-mail address, telephone and a computer. "Companies are running as lean as they ever have and there is little incentive for them to change. Thus, many of the jobs that have been lost have disappeared forever," Freeman says.

Getting a job in today's market is harder than it used to be in every way, and you have to be willing to think outside of the box and adapt to the new rules of the "game."

According to Freeman, "in today's economy, companies do everything they can to find ways to eliminate you from further consideration. I call this the exclusionary principle. Only those job seekers who learn about and apply the adaptive techniques for avoiding exclusion from the available pool of candidates will get hired today and in the future."

How to get hired in today's market

Skip's Tips for getting in front of a hiring manager today are:

"It is the combination of the last two, direct mail followed by the phone call, that is working the best in the current market." The challenge of today's job market is that companies want to save money, not spend it, so "they will only hire a person if that 'human resource' can make 'em money or save 'em more money than a non-human resource," Freeman says.

These six recommended techniques require skill, thought and a plan, whereas just applying online only leaves you to play a game of pure chance. By crafting a one-page direct mail piece and sending it to a potential employer and then following it up with a carefully worded phone call, you stand out from the competition and clearly show hiring managers how you can make their company money or save their company money; you demonstrate your value as a human resource -- and that is the key to winning in today's job game.

Direct mail letters

Direct mail letters are not cover letters. Multiple examples can be found on pages 165 and 166 of Skip's book or on his website, but here are the key components that make these letters different.

  • Use a colon in the salutation, not a comma.
  • Demonstrate in your opening sentences that you have done your research about the company.
  • Use bullets to highlight your accomplishments at your current position. This shows your value.
  • Use bullets to highlight what you will bring to the new company.
  • Set the stage in your closing for a follow-up phone call.
  • Use a P.S. in your letter -- it increases your chances of it getting read, by 75 percent.
  • Send the letter certified mail to ensure that it will be read.

What happens if you play by the old rules

According to the BLS JOLTS report, there are only 2.5 million jobs that are posted at any given time, which means that 40-70 percent of jobs available are not even posted, so if you are only looking online, then you are missing out on almost half of the available jobs out there.

Also, as many as 80 percent of job seekers look only online, which means that you are competing for jobs with a lot of other people.

Be different and expand your job search with Skip's Tips. Yes, the rules of the job world have changed; but if you know what the new rules are and you follow them, you will experience greater success.

What job search problems have you experienced? Tell us so we can find the Skip's Tips that will help you land a job.

Next: Six Top Industries Hiring in 2011

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum


Filter by:

The comments are great, I agree knowing someone increase your changes in getting a job especially over 50yr, network with friends, former co worker, past employer, ask for less pay they cannot refuse just to get you foot in.

December 09 2010 at 6:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

since the author of the article describes this as "a novel" I would think twice about the book. If this is a novel its a work of fiction by definition of a novel. If its not a novel then I would have to think twice about the review . if the commentator doesn't know that novels are fiction I wonder if they know much of anything about this subject.

December 09 2010 at 4:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I am currently gainfully unemployed, and quite frankly, after enduring over 30 years of absolute utter crap as an overworked, unappreciated, undervalued and underpaid middle manager in the corporate sector, I've had quite enough! I am in process of honing my entrepreneurial skills and vow never to return to the corporate grind, even if I fail in my own endeavors. Thank you, Corporate America, for giving me the ride of my life...glad I bailed out!

December 09 2010 at 3:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


You have to be brutally honest with yourself on why you're unemployed....

TO old - get youthful.
To out of shhape - get to the gym.
To sickly - get well
To ugly - get pretty/handsome.
Been fired - you're screwed.

I like to say that everyone is 'hireable', but not everyone is 'placeable'... I only look for that top percentile... if you're not in there, I am moving on.

Don't dare think you're 'entitled' to work - because that thinking leads you to be unemployed!

I have openings right now I won't be able to fill - candidates simply don't exist (so I will find them within the ranks of competitors).

It's an extremely competitive marketplace now... not everyone is willing to play in this arena.

December 09 2010 at 2:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I happen to be a headhunter... honestly the reason you are not getting hired is you. I get paid (up to a 30% fee based on your salary) to find you for them... IF... you are the person I am looking for.

If I need you i'll be coming through the phone after you, if not, sorry.

That's the reality of the world.

December 09 2010 at 1:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"'Job seekers who continue to rely exclusively, or nearly exclusively, upon the Internet for job leads will no longer be seeing the whole picture.'

"The hiring rules have changed -- permanently

"Gone are the days when looking for a job was an easy process that could be done from the comfort of your home with a nothing more than an e-mail address, telephone and a computer."

What in the world are you talking about?! When was that EVER true? There has never been a time in my 44-year life that finding a job was an easy process of sending out one's e-mail address.

Statements like the quoted material confirm my bias that books like these are merely spewing worthless tripe that everyone simply "knows" to be true. The truth is, the best way to get a good job is to have someone close to the hiring agent recommend you for the job. Other than that, getting a job is mostly the luck of the draw, and that includes following these steps; it's only luck if the steps listed actually work.

December 09 2010 at 1:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The person to person job app process has almost become extinct; it's a matter of time before there is a revolt;people are so tired of how things are being done,it's a matter of time.

December 09 2010 at 12:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have encountered the same problems;I've applied to several places,met the minimum qualifications,made phone calls and left messages,and not having my calls returned. I have many good years of work experience, an unmatched safety record,and excellent attendance,and drug free. These companies just dangle the meat out to job seekers,just to pull it back. It's a slap in the face,and I understand why many people give up trying to look for work. A person,more or less,has to be a perfect person,nothing in their backgrounds what so ever. It's a shame,there are so many good workers wanting to work.

December 09 2010 at 12:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Every time I tried using human contact to get a job, such as going to the job site in person, making a phone call, etc., I was always referred back to the online application. Also, there are few job fairs around my area, and the two that I have gone to over the past year have had limited job offers for the amount of people that have attended them. I think I have my current job simply because I got lucky enough that word of mouth brought this opportunity to my attention at just the right moment.

December 08 2010 at 11:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Whoever says "don't rely on the internet" clearly hasn't been job hunting in a while. Almost every employer out there has gone EXCLUSIVELY to an internet application process. Employers are systematically de-humanizing the application process at every turn. Even if you call, show up in person with resume in hand, or mail something, they'll typically contact you, telling you to apply online.

December 08 2010 at 11:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Search Articles

Picks From the Web