What if your perfect job is not advertised in a traditional way? What if you had to stretch your job hunting skills to find it? There are plenty of unadvertised or “hidden” jobs out there, but discovering them takes (yes, sometimes a little bit of luck) a great many smart discovery tactics. The Hidden Job Market refers to all the jobs that are never posted (70%-80%), but that are available and waiting for someone of your caliber.
Change the way you Network
Make networking a habit (while in post too – not just in a job search phase). Let it become a part of what you do on a regular basis. Include it in your normal routine. This will increase your chances of hearing about opportunities. Keep adding new LinkedIn connections. Tell your contacts that you’re actively looking for a new job and make it clear what exactly you’re looking for. Apply the Golden Rule of networking: GIVE before you GET. Networking is about genuine connections not aggressive favour hunting. Think of it this way, I often say to clients try not to come across as ‘over enthusiastic’, or even worse pushy or needy.
Contact Employers Directly
It’s amazing how rarely people contact someone at companies they would like to work unless they see positions advertised there. It takes effort to craft a compelling request for an interview, or even to just grab someone’s attention. But smart managers are always interested in meeting professionals who can help their employers make or save money. So find out who the hiring manager is and be bold. Email or call to introduce yourself and explain how your background and experience would be useful there. Use LinkedIn to get introduced to the decision maker.
Search company “Careers” Pages
Research and target companies you are interested in — most companies will post on their own website and never go to outside job boards or recruiters. Many companies have internal referral programs in place, so existing employees make referrals. Bonus tip: Stay on top of any local business journals and TV news for information on what’s happening with companies in your area.
Extra Tricks to Discover Hidden Job Opportunities
When it comes to the hidden job market, there are two things that you need to remember: always keep your CV and LinkedIn profile updated and take care of your online reputation. Make sure your full professional profile is visible and searchable. If you can’t be found by recruiters or hiring managers running searches, then you can’t be contacted for potential opportunities beyond those for which you apply. You never know when an opportunity will present itself. Bonus tip: sign up for Google Alerts to get instant nudges about the industry you’re interested in.
When you tap into the “hidden job market”, you avoid the intense competition of the “visible job market”. It’s worth every ounce of effort. In this connected world, sometimes, you need to step out of the traditional approach in order to stand out. Keep your eyes and ears open: there’s a secret goldmine out there waiting to be discovered!