Have you ever tapped into the hidden job market?
It’s estimated around 80 per cent of jobs are never advertised.
Wow – that’s a lot!
What’s the hidden job market?
The hidden job market is the pool of jobs that aren’t advertised.
You might think most organisations always list their vacancies.
But that’s not the case.
Why aren’t jobs advertised?
- It’s cheaper than paying to advertise jobs online or in print.
- It’s faster and more efficient. Organisations can skip the advertising process and have fewer people to screen.
- There might be changes happening at the organisation they don’t want to share with the public or competitors. For example, they could be opening a new branch.
- They like to hire new people recommended by staff. Current employees usually have a good understanding of the needs of the job.
- They want to fill a position using people already working there.
- They want to use a recruitment service who will have already screened a small pool of candidates.
Why tapping into the hidden job market will help you
It might seem like a lot of work, but accessing the hidden job market will make it easier for you to find a job.
- You’ll be competing against fewer candidates. Jobs that are advertised can attract hundreds of applications or more!
- There will be a greater pool of jobs available to you than just those that are advertised.
Six ways to tap into the hidden job market
It can feel frustrating when jobs you’d like aren’t being advertised. But there are ways you can find them.
1. Ask around
Networking is a great way to power up your job search. The focus of your networking should not be asking contacts for a job but for information that could lead to a job.
Talk to friends, family, people you’ve worked or studied with, people you play sport with, anyone and tell them the kind of jobs you’re looking for and the organisations you’re interested in. Ask if they can help or if they know anyone who can. Follow up on their recommendations. Stay in touch with people and thank them for their time.
2. Social media and online networks
If you have a LinkedIn profile, make sure it’s up to date. LinkedIn lists job vacancies but recruiters also use it to find candidates. You can also use the site to connect to people in the companies or industries you’re interested in. If these people are open to the idea, ask if they’d like to meet or to chat on the phone about what it’s like to work at that organisation and what skills or qualities they require.
LinkedIn groups for your job type, industry and area will also provide you with industry and job tips.
Organisations also often advertise vacancies on their Twitter feeds and Facebook pages. You should check company websites too to look for any vacancies listed on their internal noticeboards.
3. Professional events
Are there any career fairs, conferences, trade shows and industry events you could attend? These can be a great way to meet people and find out about industry trends or job openings.
List the employers you’d like to work for and set up a Google news alert to tell you when there are new mentions of them online. This will keep you up to date with what’s happening with the organisation. If there are big changes like a new office or merger, it could be a sign they are growing and hiring.
5. Cold calling
If you know where you’d like to work, calling an employer directly can also pay off. Try to talk to the person who would be responsible for hiring you. Scheduling a time to chat with them will help, as will sending through a cover letter and resume ahead of time.
If you’re cold calling, it’s a good idea to practice your elevator pitch. This is a summary of who you are, what you do and what you want to do in your working life. It will help sell you to an employer and is a way of introducing yourself too.
Some organisations offer volunteer positions. These are a great way to make yourself known, to get to know people already working there, and to learn new skills and hear about any vacancies. Volunteering for an activity closely tied to your field or profession will also help you meet people in your area and increase your skills and experience.
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