When the jobs are hidden

To get a job, you have to find the openings that no one’s advertising, and really impress your potential employer.

By Jia Lynn Yang, writer-reporter
March 30, 2009: 12:31 PM ET

NEW YORK (Fortune) — David Perry, a longtime headhunter, says you’re wasting your time if you’re looking for job postings online. And he should know: he’s often the guy on the other side helping companies lure new talent. Perry, who’s based in Ottawa, says that in the last 22 years he has accomplished 996 searches totaling $172 million in salary. And the bottom line in today’s economy, he says, is you have to tap the “hidden job market.”

Perry’s also the co-author of “Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters” and he recently spoke with Fortune.

What’s the “hidden job market”?

When companies say, ‘We have a hiring freeze,’ that doesn’t mean they’re not hiring. It just means they’re not adding headcount. Every year there’s 20-25% turn over. So in a 1,000-person company, 200 or 250 people are going to turn over, either through attrition, or someone moves. Those companies are still hiring but they don’t want to tell you.

So how do you find these jobs?

What you have to do in a recession is map your skills to employers to where you know they have a problem you can solve. My advice to job hunters is pick 10 to 20 companies, no more, and pick companies you’re interested in, and that you think you can add value to. That requires researching companies, and so that list may take you two weeks. If you’re trying to crack the hidden job market and you know the job position you want reports to vice president, find that vice president on LinkedIn and look at his profile to see who else he’s connected to and go ask them, ‘What’s this guy like to work for?’ Do the research before you even pick up the phone.

How can you get someone’s attention?

We can go into billboards, sandwiches – that stuff only works once. It’s only for one person who figures it out once, once in a city. If you’re looking for fun stuff, we have this thing called the coffee cup caper, 30% of the time it will result in an interview. You send an employer a coffee cup with a little $5 swipe card with a little note that says, I’d like to get together and talk with you over coffee. I’ll be calling soon. And you send it by U.S. post two day delivery, and that gets registered. So when they’ve signed for it, you wait about 20 minutes and then you call them. And then you go, Hi, I know you just got my package.’ You’re proving you’re imaginative and creative.

What something people should avoid during a job interview?

This drives me insane: I’ve seen people mentally deciding in the interview whether they want the job. That’s the last place to decide. You go into an interview, and you sell like your life depends on it. You’ve got to get the job first. I’ve seen it thousands of times. There’s this point in the interview, where people go ‘Hmm, do I really want this? You can see their body change. The employer picks it up and it’s gone. If the employer is telling you, ‘I love you,’ and you’re not saying ‘I love you too,’ it’s over with.

How about following up afterwards?

If you really like the opportunity, don’t go home and write thank you very much. Go back and write a letter that says, upon further reflection of what we were talking about, here’s what I bring to the table, here’s how I see myself fitting into the organization, including a 30-60-90 day plan.

How can someone attract a recruiter’s attention?

You have to go to ZoomInfo and LinkedIn and create a profile. All corporate recruiters and probably 20% of the headhunters in America have ZoomInfo accounts. When we start a search, companies aren’t going to advertise. The headhunter goes to ZoomInfo, types in requirements that we need, like skillset, degree, city, functional title, and up will come anywhere from a hundred to several thousand people who fit that criteria. Then we go to LinkedIn and run the same search. If you’re in ZoomInfo with a picture, we’re going to call you first. Just reverse engineer what recruiters are doing so you get found.

How can you really impress a potential employer?

It hasn’t worked in years just to bring in your resume, except only in the most junior positions. I concentrate on directors to CEOs, and the last interview for us regardless is always a Power Point presentation of what you’ve learned, pain points, and how you intend to fix that. Everyone talks about being a great leader and great communicator, so prove it. Don’t go into an interview and treat it like it’s just another business meeting. Your career is your biggest asset now – because it’s certainly not your house. To top of page

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The iPhone Gold Rush

The iPhone Gold Rush

IS there a good way to nail down a steady income? In this economy?

Try writing a successful program for the iPhone.

Last August, Ethan Nicholas and his wife, Nicole, were having trouble making their mortgage payments. Medical bills from the birth of their younger son were piling up. After learning that his employer, Sun Microsystems, was suspending employee bonuses for the year, Mr. Nicholas considered looking for a new job and putting their house in Wake Forest, N.C., on the market.

Then he remembered reading about the guy who had made a quarter-million dollars in a hurry by writing a video game called Trism for the iPhone. “I figured if I could even make a fraction of that, we’d be able to make ends meet,” he said.

Although he had years of programming experience, Mr. Nicholas, who is 30, had never built a game in Objective-C, the coding language of the iPhone. So he searched the Internet for tips and informal guides, and used them to figure out the iPhone software development kit that Apple puts out.

Because he grew up playing shoot-em-up computer games, he decided to write an artillery game. He sketched out some graphics and bought inexpensive stock photos and audio files.

For six weeks, he worked “morning, noon and night” — by day at his job on the Java development team at Sun, and after-hours on his side project. In the evenings he would relieve his wife by caring for their two sons, sometimes coding feverishly at his computer with one hand, while the other rocked baby Gavin to sleep or held his toddler, Spencer, on his lap.

After the project was finished, Mr. Nicholas sent it to Apple for approval, quickly granted, and iShoot was released into the online Apple store on Oct. 19.

When he checked his account with Apple to see how many copies the game had sold, Mr. Nicholas’s jaw dropped: On its first day, iShoot sold enough copies at $4.99 each to net him $1,000. He and Nicole were practically “dancing in the street,” he said.

The second day, his portion of the day’s sales was about $2,000.

On the third day, the figure slid down to $50, where it hovered for the next several weeks. “That’s nothing to sneeze at, but I wondered if we could do better,” Mr. Nicholas said.

In January, he released a free version of the game with fewer features, hoping to spark sales of the paid version. It worked: iShoot Lite has been downloaded more than 2 million times, and many people have upgraded to the paid version, which now costs $2.99. On its peak day — Jan. 11 — iShoot sold nearly 17,000 copies, which meant a $35,000 day’s take for Mr. Nicholas.

“That’s when I called my boss and said, ‘We need to talk,’ ” Mr. Nicholas said. “And I quit my job.”

To people who know a thing or two about computer code, stories like his are as tantalizing as a late-night infomercial, as full of promise as an Anthony Robbins self-help book. The first iPhones came out in June 2007, but it wasn’t until July 2008 that people could buy programs built by outsiders, which were introduced in an online market — called the App Store — along with the new iPhone 3G. (The store is also open to owners of the iPod Touch, which does everything that the iPhone does except make phone calls and incur a monthly bill from AT&T.)

There are now more than 25,000 programs, or applications, in the iPhone App Store, many of them written by people like Mr. Nicholas whose modern Horatio Alger dreams revolve around a SIM card. But the chances of hitting the iPhone jackpot keep getting slimmer: the Apple store is already crowded with look-alike games and kitschy applications, and fresh inventory keeps arriving daily. Many of the simple but clever concepts that sell briskly — applications, for instance, that make the iPhone screen look like a frothing pint of beer or a koi pond — are already taken.

And for every iShoot, which earned Mr. Nicholas $800,000 in five months, “there are hundreds or thousands who put all their efforts into creating something, and it just gets ignored in the store,” said Erica Sadun, a programmer and the author of “The iPhone Developer’s Cookbook.”

The long-shot odds haven’t stopped people from stampeding to classes and conferences about writing iPhone programs. At Stanford University, an undergraduate course called Computer Science 193P: iPhone Application Programming attracted 150 students for only 50 spots when it was introduced last fall.

“It completely surpassed our expectations,” said Troy Brant, a graduate student who helped teach the course. Turnout has been equally strong this quarter, he said.

As early as the summer of 2007 — a week after the iPhone first hit the market, and long before Apple let outsiders sell software for it — Raven Zachary, a technology consultant, decided to organize an informal get-together for fans of the device. The event, held in San Francisco, drew nearly 500 people.

Since then, he said, dozens of similar conferences have taken place around the world. “The concept has spread quite far and wide,” said Mr. Zachary, who boasts on his Web site that he “directed the launch of two top-20 iPhone applications,” including one for the Obama campaign. He expects the turnout at his conference this summer to be huge. “We may have to find a larger venue and hold simultaneous satellite events to accommodate attendees,” he said.

The rush to stake a claim on the iPhone is a lot like what happened in Silicon Valley in the early dot-com era, said Matt Murphy, a partner at the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers who oversees the iFund, a $100 million investment pot reserved for iPhone applications.

“People are realizing that by developing in their garage with a couple dollars, they could be the next Facebook,” he said. “It’s still early days for mobile development, but those days are coming.”

This time, however, the scale may be smaller. While iShoot is never going to be the next Google or Facebook, it is the type of program that people with minimal expertise view as within their reach. The fact that Apple handles the financial side of the transactions makes it particularly easy for mom-and-pop developers to sell their homemade software all around the world. (Apple keeps 30 percent of the revenue from each sale and gives the rest to the developer.)

“Even if you’re not a programming guru, you can still cobble something together and potentially have great success,” said James Katz, director of the Center for Mobile Communications Studies at Rutgers University.

If there is ever an iPhone hall of fame, Mr. Nicholas’s portrait might hang next to that of Kostas Eleftheriou, a young Greek entrepreneur who lives in London. He and two friends wrote a program in seven days called iSteam, which fogs up the face of an iPhone like a bathroom mirror. They made more than $100,000 in three months.

It is little more than a party trick. When someone swipes a finger across the phone’s surface, iSteam’s pretend moisture is wiped away with a realistic-sounding squeak. When the phone is tipped on its side, droplets of condensation roll as if pulled by gravity. “It’s quite a good illusion,” Mr. Eleftheriou said. “Everyone wants to show their friends.”

The application hit the App Store in late December, and already Mr. Eleftheriou, who is 25, has decided to postpone graduate school and seek his fortune as an iPhone developer. He and his friends Vassilis Samolis and Bill Rappos, both 22, have set up a company called GreatApps and have hired two more developers.

“We don’t want to stop with iSteam,” Mr. Eleftheriou said. “Our next step is to establish ourselves as a big player in the application store.”

Both the iSteam team and Mr. Nicholas were spurred by the success of Steve Demeter, an inspiration for starry-eyed iPhone developers. Mr. Demeter, who is 30, wrote the game called Trism, which involves aligning rows of brightly colored triangles; he released it into the App Store last July and says he made $250,000 in the first two months. He immediately quit his job writing software for Wells Fargo and started his own iPhone game development company, Demiforce.

It doesn’t take much money to write these programs, Mr. Demeter said, and a larger budget doesn’t always mean more success. “Novel concepts that come out of left field are going viral,” he said. “These are the kinds of applications that will endure.”

The mobile frenzy hasn’t gone unnoticed by other major cellphone and software companies. Last week, Research in Motion opened an application store for the BlackBerry. Google recently began selling applications based on Android, its operating system for cellphones. Nokia is in the early stages of opening a store for its handsets, and Microsoft is creating a store for phones running Windows Mobile.

As for Mr. Nicholas, he has sprung for a family vacation to Washington, hired a nanny and founded a company called Naughty Bits Software to keep developing iPhone programs (so far he is the only employee). “Oh, and I bought myself a new laptop,” he said. “I figured I deserved that.”

He is in talks to adapt iShoot to systems other than the iPhone, and says that investors and big video game companies have approached him about financing his sophomore effort. He is also in full-swing inventor mode, working on a new game that he will not describe for fear that another developer might poach it.

“I’m going to milk the gold rush as long as I can,” Mr. Nicholas said. “It’d be foolish not to.”



You obviously care about your clothes. Treat them right by outfitting your closet with the right hangers for the job.



The Good


Known as ‘crystal clear hangers,’ these are the same ones used in department stores—and for good reason. Crafted from styrene plastic, they’re durable and retain the garments’ form. Plus, the swiveling metal hook makes it easy to hang pieces in either direction without having to take them off the hanger.



Whether you’re hanging flat front trousers, jeans or khakis, fold in half lengthwise and clip them by the waistband.



A suit requires its own hanger. It should be wide, with contoured arms to keep the jacket’s shoulder shape and a bar on which to drape the pants. Look for a ribbed bar that will keep your pants in place without the use of clamps.



Your coat takes a beating from the elements. You’ll drag it in dirty and hang it up wet. Take care of it indoors by storing it on a sturdy wooden hanger to help support the weight and protect the shape.




Those cheap, tubular plastic hangers—which now come in a rainbow of colors—will ruin your clothes. The thinness and 45-degree angle of the arm means clothes are often stretched and creased.


Wire hangers have their purposes. Namely, summer camp craft projects and breaking into cars. Instead of letting them infiltrate your closet, put your freshly-pressed shirts onto their real hangers as soon as you get home from the cleaners.

How to break free from the single trap: seven tips

Are you stuck in the lonely hearts’ club? The marital therapist Andrew G. Marshall says finding love is just a matter of changing your tactics

For some, being single is no longer a natural phase between the end of one relationship and the beginning of another but somewhere they have become trapped. In my new book The Single Trap I look at the underlying causes: how the internet might provide more choice but makes it harder to choose; how having divorced parents makes it more difficult to trust; and the social changes that mean we meet fewer prospective partners.

However, it is possible to break free from the single trap. The first step is to take a fresh look at yourself. Often the very things that we think protect us from getting hurt make it harder for new people to come into our lives and because like attracts like it is important to balance ourselves. The second step involves changing the way that we search for love, to become more open-minded, learning the art of mixing and making more fulfilling emotional connections, as the extract on the facing page shows.

In my work as a marital therapist I always start by taking a history of my client’s relationships. Most people knew each other casually, or even distantly, before going out together. Work has been another low-risk way to meet people; other couples have a shared interest. The key advantage of meeting someone casually — as a friend of a friend, through work or sharing a hobby — is that all the defences are down. You are not meeting a potential life partner, but chatting for 30 seconds waiting for the lift. The stakes are so low there is no need for game-playing and you are more likely to be yourself.

What I’m suggesting in effect is a return to the roots of British courting: parading, mixing, and saying “how do you do?” At parties, it’s not looking for a partner but for an interesting conversation, which might lead to a recommendation for an art exhibition and getting talking to someone else at the gallery. It’s about joining a poetry class, not to find a potential date, but because you love words and then going to a classmate’s coffee-shop performance and being introduced to someone from his or her workplace.

Mixing is about being open to new ideas, new opportunities and ultimately new people. The good news is that not only will these seven skills opposite help you to meet more people, they will also undo some of the bad habits acquired through dating.


1. Riding the flow

Have you ever been so wrapped up in something that when you looked at your watch, time had evaporated? Psychologists call this “riding the flow”. Not only is it extremely pleasurable, but your mood is expansive, tolerant and creative. Even better, we forget ourselves and are less self-conscious and self-critical. Not only is this the perfect state of mind to meet a partner, but the chances are increased dramatically; happy people are a pleasure to be around. People get more satisfaction from activities outside work — the most common examples are sport or exercise, or satisfaction could come from joining a choir or volunteering. So how do you find your own personal flow? It must be something you find personally rewarding and which maintains your interest. Set yourself small, realistic goals. It is better to aim at learning 20 French words a week than to speak French in time for your holiday. Seek to help others rather than just looking after number one. You will reap the personal benefits. Research shows that volunteering is the second greatest source of joy, after dancing, and a good way of meeting people. As your aim is to find a partner, look for ways to flow with other people. If hours disappear when you are playing the piano, accompany the local amateur dramatic society. If you enjoy squash, join a league.

2. Six degrees of separation

Frigyes Karinthy, a Hungarian author, claimed that we can link ourselves to any other human being on Earth using no more than five intermediaries, one of whom is a personal acquaintance. The idea was tested in a Sixties experiment by a social psychologist who mailed random people and asked them to forward a parcel to someone who might forward it closer to the final recipient. The average number of times the parcel was forwarded was six. But what does all this mean for mixing and finding your ideal partner? Firstly, the more friends and acquaintances, the greater chances of meeting him or her. Market researcher John T. Molloy interviewed 2,500 couples and found that women about to marry knew significantly more people than women with no proposal in sight. Secondly, six degrees of separation underlines how important it is to take every opportunity to talk to people. Look back at your previous partners. How many times did you meet someone who was a friend of a friend? Even if you met by chance, did you have acquaintances in common?

3. Becoming open-hearted

What is the best predictor for whether two people will be attracted? When I put this question to acquaintances, there was a clear consensus: looks. Yet if you look around your own circle of friends, you will find ordinary and even plain people who are never short of dates, and gorgeous ones who seem doomed to remain single. So what’s going on? Fortunately, social psychologists have always been fascinated by what attracts people to each other and the key predictor is not looks but the sheer amount of contact time. We expect to be attracted to the unknown, but are most likely to fall for the known. Social psychologists have found a second key predictor of mutual attraction: similarity. Although we might occasionally like a challenge, ultimately we choose someone similar in one or more of the following ways: attitudes, personality, demographic characteristics and lifestyle. So how do you move from a spark of interest for someone you see on a regular basis to a relationship? Becoming open-hearted Contrary to many people’s expectations, personality is more important than looks in attracting a partner; students were asked to rate qualities in possible mates, and the results were: 1) Kind and considerate; 2) Socially exciting; 3) Artistic/intelligent; 4) Easy-going/adaptable.

So how do you come across as open-hearted? Smile: This will not only make you seem warm but approachable too. Maintain good eye contact — people who cannot look us directly in the eye are considered to be lying. Be positive: We like people who make us feel good about the world, and ourselves. Appear interested: This includes nodding the head, repeating back key phrases and, most powerful of all, identifying feelings (“you must have been horrified”).

4. Flirting

If you have been out of the singles game for a while, flirting can be particularly daunting. In essence, there are three key ingredients to successful flirting: encouraging body language, easy-flowing conversation and confidence.

Encouraging body language Leaning slightly towards someone — although not too close — shows interest. Nodding signals not only encouragement but also demonstrates involvement in the story that you’re being told. Blinking can also set a romantic mood. We blink every two or three seconds and increasing the rate will increase your partner’s too. Conversely slowing down a blink can be sexually attractive as it mimics a wink. Mirroring — matching your body posture to someone else’s — can amplify intimacy.

Easy-flowing conversation Value small talk: It’s a good way of warming up for a more interesting conversation and provides a breathing space to relax. When using small talk add extra conversational hooks: “At least the rain will bring on things in my allotment.” Look for areas of conversational connection. Echo the other person’s language. Don’t block topics A rant against dogs fouling the pavements will not build rapport. Never underestimate the importance of asking questions. A good listener will always be appreciated.

Confidence We like confident, outgoing people Make a list of three things under the following headings — parts of my body that I like; positive aspects of my personality; past achievements; past compliments and my potential. Check your language in case you are unknowingly running yourself down. Be upbeat: When you are interested and excited, your face muscles become more animated and more attractive. Confidence is not about being perfect. It comes from knowledge and experience, and through achieving small goals.

5. Taking a risk

When adopting this mixing skill, the first job is to reconsider people that you already know but have dismissed on possibly spurious grounds. John T.Molloy found that 20 per cent of the women he interviewed coming out of a marriage bureau had not liked their intended when they first met him. However, something made them reconsider and take a risk. The second way of taking a risk is to suspend judgment for longer and give your unconscious time to breathe and decide. If you have been thinking about someone in a new way, it is probably time to see more of them. This might be officially seen as a date, or possibly an extension of your normal routine. I would suggest you follow these guidelines:

No introspection on the date :Just enjoy the moment. Let the experience brew: Try to avoid making a judgment and instead sleep on it. Ultimately, your unconscious will tell you if there is a true match But your unconscious can talk only if you are prepared to listen — and that’s impossible if you’re too busy analysing. By waiting until the next morning, you will have avoided the snap judgment and stretched your normal window of decision-making.

6. Do as you would be done by

We frequently judge on the most superficial grounds, but demand that others consider our character and personality, not just our looks, weight and bank balance. If men knew the problems of women (who have traditionally supposed to wait to be asked) and women knew men’s fears (looking foolish), we would be kinder. These are the new rules of seeing someone: Both men and women have an equal opportunity to ask each other out. The policy should be, generally, to accept an invitation. First outings should be small events. If you promise to call or contact, it is your responsibility to do so. Whoever suggests the outing pays.

7. Be philosophical

Although we think of philosophy as being dominated by dead men with beards, it is in essence about making sense of the world around us. We have to accept the things over which we have no control and concentrate on what we can influence: our own behaviour. This means embracing all of the seven skills of mixing and, in particular, taking a risk. Sometimes when we stop trying to control — and when we least expect it — love comes to us.

© Andrew G. Marshall 2009. Extracted from The Single Trap: The Two-Step Guide to Escaping it and Finding Lasting Love (Bloomsbury, £12.99), published on February 2. The book is available for £11.69, free p&p, from Times Books; tel 0845 2712134, timesonline.co.uk/booksfirst


It’s time to quit being tired, once and for all. Here’s a step-by-step guide to improving the quality of your rest.
By Kayleen Schaefer; Photograph by Doron Gild


Determine Your Level of Tiredness

“People don’t accept that being tired is not normal,” says Dr. Barry Krakow, the medical director of the Sleep & Human Health Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico. “Standard operating procedure is to drink as much caffeine as needed.” You should know how to spot the signs of fatigue. You might have a subpar workout or miss your jump shot during your weekly basketball game. You might lose interest in sex or feel depressed or anxious, all of which are symptoms of a lack of rest. If you allow yourself enough time to recharge, you should be able to skip a latte or two.

Figure Out How Much Sleep You Need

Most guys think they need a solid eight hours a night, but your body might not require that much. Dr. Michael Thorpy, of the Sleep-Wake Disorders Center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York, says patients often benefit from getting less sleep. The shorter span allows their bodies to eliminate lighter and broken sleep from the start of their slumber. Try going to bed 15 or 30 minutes later than usual for a couple of nights and see how you feel. But don’t snooze for less than six hours. “That’s the minimum,” says Dr. Michael Breus, the author of Beauty Sleep: Look Younger, Lose Weight, and Feel Great Through Better Sleep.

Prep Yourself

“People think of sleep as an on-off switch, and it’s not,” Breus says. “You don’t just close your eyes.” You have to get your body ready for bed. That doesn’t mean you need to do an hour of yoga at midnight. Get as much sun as you can during the day. Light tells your brain that it’s time to be awake, regulating your circadian rhythm, which prompts your body to shut down naturally after dark. Take a warm shower before bed. The decline in body temperature after you get out of the water invites dozing. And when you find yourself staring at the ceiling worrying about your 401(k), be patient: It takes about 15 minutes to conk out. Think about something bland instead. “When you get in bed, it’s quiet and dark and gives you a chance to think about every major problem in your life,” Breus says. “But that’s not a good idea.”

What to Do if You Can’t (or Don’t Have Time to) Sleep

If you keep nodding off and waking up, stay in bed. If you’re wired and you’ve been lying there for 15 minutes, get up. But don’t check your BlackBerry. Do something far less stimulating—like watching The Secret. “There will be an underlying circadian drive for sleep,” Thorpy says. “It’ll make you go back to bed.” What happens when your workload or social life cuts into your sleep? You can function on about five hours a night, Thorpy says, but as the week goes on, you’ll be less alert. “It’s possible to make up a portion of the debt by sleeping one to three extra hours on Sunday,” Breus says. Or by sneaking in a midday nap. A quick nap will do you some good—just keep in mind that after 20 minutes you go into deep sleep, so if you can’t afford a half-hour of the grade-A stuff, be sure to wake yourself before you get to it. Otherwise you’ll be back where you started—groggy and stupid.