As a bilingual career coach and job search expert, I meet with clients who encounter difficulty in landing a satisfying job that matches their talents, motivators and work personality.

Most job seekers engage in a "passive" job hunt, which rarely brings successful results. “Blasting” resumes endlessly and spending time exclusively on job sites does not constitute a successful job hunt.

Job openings are concentrated in the “hidden job market,” because employers do not want to incur the expense of advertisements or to wade through up to 500 resumes from one job posting.

In a fiercely competitive job market, how do you stand apart from other job seekers?

1. Establish your personal brand.

In a word, this means what makes you unique? What are you known for by past employers and customers? What do you do better than anyone else? Why were you hired at the last job? For more on personal branding, go to or consult Dan Schawbel's personal branding blog.

2. Limit your electronic job search to 1 hour a day. Most job boards only have a 1-3% success rate. Use "aggregates," which are sites which take job postings and combine them, such as simplyhired.ca and indeed.ca. You save a lot of wasted time using aggregates. In October, ad revenues for fell 26% and www.monster.com by 36%.

3. Make your resume visual and non-conventional. Entice employers with logos, numbers, accomplishments and testimonials from past employers and supervisors. Testimonials originate from performance evaluations and from letters of reference or recommendation. They are a powerful tool to convince employers that you demonstrate value and uphold a professional reputation.

Better still, be a REBEL and be INNOVATIVE. Don't send a resume. (Contrary to popular opinion, the resume doesn't exclusively win the interview).

A solid, sales letter or value proposition letter woos decision makers and influencers. These two unconventional types work effectively in the hidden job market.

Test the waters.

Send a sales letter OR value proposition letter OR a bio. You can create a bio for free on   More research suggests that recruiters are attracted to bios rather than the sea of unimaginative resumes that pervade job boards and slip into what recruiters call the "black hole."

4. Use social media. Recent studies show that 69% of Canadian recruiters used linkedin.com and 44% used Facebook to source to search "passive talent," screen candidates and check for references. By using social media, you show employers that you have expertise in your field and are conversant with technology.

Open a free account on linkedin.com or use your friends on Facebook to get help in your social network.

(For FULL DETAILS on how to use social media strategically in your job search, buy my ebook, How to find a job using social media.

5. Be irresistible to employers. Mail a handwritten, follow-up cover letter saying that you have prepared a slide of what you would do in 30 days.  (Presentation slides are free on ) Or prepare a few before your interview to really “wow” employers.

Follow-up up with employers by convincing them that they can hire you at a discount (hiring you will cost less because you offer value in your area of specialization). Employers have a one-track mind: “make or save me money.”

Do competitive intelligence (what the competitor is doing). Impress employers with this “insider” information.

For more innovative job search techniques, book a coaching session with Melissa at 1-877-621-3141//613-382-7641 today!