How the Hidden Job Market Found Me! Pull Method of Marketing

These days everyone is trying to find job-leads, find sales-leads, find any kind of lead! However, if you use the “pull method” of marketing, employers will come to you. Read the true story below.

As a Global MBA Career Advisor, at Robinson College of Business, I am always trying to attract employers to our college. With 8,000+ Business students, GSU is the largest Business College in the Southeast and therefore we need a LOT of employers to mentor students and hire graduates. Our Career Management team spends a lot of time marketing, to attract employers and students to our 20-30 Career Events each semester. Over the summer, we do all of the Project Management, logistics and planning for our Executive Career Coaching, Mock Interviews, Business Career Round Tables, and Career Expo. Often, as Career Advisors, we either overuse the “Push method” or only use this method to attract employers and students. The 500+ job seekers, on my case-load each semester, are also guilty of overusing the “push method" during their job search.”

According the the Dosh/Dosh web post -  In Marketing; there are two main ways of promoting a business model in order to reach a target market. In push marketing, you ‘push’ your content or product towards the audience which may or may not be aware of it. Conversely, in a pull-marketing scenario, the customer ‘pulls’ your content or product towards themselves, because they are interested in learning more about it. Pull-marketing largely involves the active development of a highly visible brand. This encourages customers to actively seek you out, because they believe you can fulfill their needs. Methods commonly used include blogging, media interviews, conference speaking, syndication of your content and word of mouth.

A series of events happened to me last week, which leads me to question the efficacy, of over-reliance on the “Push” method of marketing. Last Tuesday, an employer, Ms. Simone Tapp, who I had never met, never marketed to, and never spoken to - contacted me via LinkedIn. Ms. Tapp is the Human Resource Director at Reed Construction Data (Division of Reed Business Information). This is a multi-national company with branches throughout the USA and Canada. Her division is based in Norcross, GA and they do aggregate research on new construction starts: both residential and commercial. Then, they market these databases of information. This data is highly desirable for people in city planning, construction, real estate and the construction supply industry.

Though, I didn’t’ know her, she knew about me. As the old adage goes, it’s not who you know, but who knows you. Ms. Tapp researched me online and read my profile on LinkedIn. She knew that I taught business students at Georgia State University and knew that one of the 13 courses I teach is “Accessing the Hidden Job Market.” She may have also read my micro-blog on Twitter, my I-Google page, my personal blog or this Blog. Through her research, she discovered that the students, alumni and business professionals who I teach, are her target demographic of job candidates! She invited me to partner with her.

Subject: Job opportunity for your students/clients

Hi Sharon –
I see that you are presenting ideas on Accessing the Hidden Job Market, in Atlanta. Our company has available opportunities in sales, research and IT and I wondered if there was an opportunity to get this message out to any interested candidates?

Regards, Simone Tapp (HR Director)

Ms. Tapp asked to present Hidden Job opportunities to participants attending my workshop on “Accessing the Hidden Job Market!” I couldn’t have created a better scenario, if I had tried to “Push” my workshop on a dozen employers! What is better than connecting eager job seekers, with an eager employer, who wants to hire them. Win-Win.

I think that my personal branding, both online and live must have reached a critical mass. Last week, 2 other well-known, employers, also contacted me. They also wanted to partner with me and provide opportunities for my students. Additionally, about a dozen alumni and a numerous, Global MBA's contacted me. The majority of them heard about me through my LinkedIn groups, my Discussion Threads and my Blogs. Some also saw me present at community workshops or may have met me at community networking events.

A sea change has occurred in the way employers and candidates and the people who broker between them operate. It will never again, be “business as usual” for Career Advisors, Recruiters and Human Resource professionals. This online revolution and online social networking phenomenon, is like Shakespeare’s tempest. Either enter the tempest or be left on the shore. Employers are sourcing candidates, products and services by using online methods. This is now the preferred way to do business. Employers often make the first contact, online, through a shared group or website.

In summation:
Access the Hidden Job Market – using the Pull Method of Marketing

1. Develop a Personal Brand and actively maintain it.

2. Create quality, profiles on the top Business Networking sites such as LinkedIn, use Twitter
or blog about your area of expertise.

3. Use online methods to find your target audience.

4. Build relationships and contribute to your communities: live & online.

5. Become an SME Subject Matter Expert. Consider retraining if necessary.

6. Don’t overuse the Push Method of Marketing. Use the “Pull Method” of attraction to bring

in business, job leads.

7. Be patient, the Pull method takes time…

Author:  © 2009/2010 - All Rights Reserved - Sharon Cohen, MA,CPRP, Licensed Counselor and Career Transition Specialist.

• LinkedIn
• Twitter
• iGoogle
• My Career Manager Blog (daily view)


  1. I was going to write a similar blog concerning this topic, you beat me to it. You did a nice job! Thanks and well add your rss to come categories on our blogs. Thanks much, Jon B.find a job

  2. I appreciate the warm encouragement! The Pull Method of Marketing really works.

    Sharon C

  3. Grettir Strong wrote:

    That's good article and it reflects today's realities of job market pretty well. I just would like to mention couple of things:

    1. There was an interview with Cisco Systems CEO (on I believe) where he stated that blogging is his main medium of communication across company now. That would mean that blogging and pull method is even wider than mere job hunt - it is also used intensively in today's management. And that means that experience gained in pull method for job search is totally re-usable WHEN on the job.

    2. There can be an feeling that blogging and similar activities, like setting up properly targeted profile in social network systems, is something quick and easy thing to do. That's illusion and a very deceptive one. All that activity takes time when done properly and thoroughly. It is much more that just compiling standard resume for push method. Whoever is going to prepare all those virtual tools for successful marketing should consider it as a serious task and devote significant time and even more time to preliminary research online.

    In summation:

    Pull tools for self-marketing are getting more and more pervasive and I totally agree with Sharon that they deserve a lot of attention. It is in many cases free or next-to-nothing to purchase. It also seems like the future of marketing (any marketing) lies there: otherwise biggest advertiser in the world, Procter&Gamble, would not be researching Facebook trends so meticulously.
    S. Cohen (author) wrote:

    Grettir, what an interesting fact about Cisco! I will incorporate this into my University workshop on Pull Marketing and the Hidden Job Market.

    For the past year, I've used my complilation of blog articles as a resource. I provide URL's from my Blog articles, whenever I'm asked a complex, career question and as a supplement to my client sessions.!

    Maureen Sharib wrote:

    "Be patient, the Pull method takes time…"
    This is what most do not have.
    Sara Jesus wrote:

    I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

    S.Cohen (author) wrote:

    Thank you. I am so glad that my blog has helped you. Your comments are further proof of the Hidden Job MarketHope it can address some of your career management needs.
    Elli 9 months ago

    Another case of Hiding in plain sight! I came across this as a result of an excellent job search boot camp. As a long-time marketing exec and passionate brand builder, I've been a strong proponent of the pull method - especially in my specialty area, corporate branding. I've recently begun using this method to develop my personal brand and never thought of it as "pull marketing". Thank you for making it clear.

    Elli Strauss International Marketing
    Rosie Gaynor 9 months ago

    I was using the Pull Method without knowing it...and so am grateful for your comment that it takes time to work.

    Rosie at
    IT Career Boot Camp wrote:

    I came across your article while working on a "personal branding" - leadership training session.

    Your article or post is a good example of how building your brand pays. It is a far better experience to have people call you for products or services or for a job than to be the one pusing your resume to employers.

    The PULL Method of Marketing leads to a better experience for everyone involved than the PUSH Method.

    One of the greatest dis-advantages of the PUSH Method is that the practitioners are often see as being overly aggressive!

  4. Great article!! I found the other comments helpful and interesting as well. In my industry, there are few jobs with many qualified applicants, so I understand now that pushing my resume (no matter how great and informative it is) isn’t the best strategy. It’s very difficult to get noticed in a pile of other qualified applicants. The Pull method was not something I had ever heard of until my most recent job search.

    Branding oneself has become essential in getting your name and experience out there. Since I am not from the computer savvy age, the thought of “putting myself out there” was a totally foreign concept to me. Face-book was my only friend at the time. Now, I have set up a profile on Linked-In, have begun to put together a blog and goggle + profile, and finally starting to write about areas that I have expertise in. I must admit it is daunting and thank you and the other commenters for reassuring me that the process takes time.

  5. Hello....
    good blog for the different jobs for the hidden jobs for the marketing for the different jobs for the online marketing for the good jobs for the marketing.