What on earth is the “Hidden Job Market?!” Put simply, it is all the jobs “out there” that are not currently being advertised. There are ALWAYS jobs that are not yet advertised for many reasons – perhaps a manager is awaiting budget approval, or maybe a department is expanding but the manager is not 100% sure what to look for just yet, or maybe the company is using a recruiter to find people through their databases and networking, or maybe, maybe, maybe…Aside from all of these theories, the research “out there” does show that 75% of jobs occur through the hidden job market. So, what does this mean for you? It means that 75% of your job search time should be spent tapping into this area.
The next logical question, of course, is how to tap into the hidden job market if it’s “hidden”? There are several things you can do. Start by posting your resume on top job boards like monster, careerbuilders, and hotjobs. Many recruiters already pay for memberships to these sites, allowing them to view resumes that are posted. Therefore, they don’t need to pay extra to advertise the opening. Your resume gets a lot of exposure by being posted in such sites. Next, find reputable recruiters and employment firms who place candidates with your type of background. Develop relationships with them and be sure they have updated copies of your resume. Also, do you have a professional profile on LinkedIn? This is a business networking site that employers and recruiters sleuth all the time to find candidates – without advertising. Finally, be sure you are networking. This does not mean asking all of your friends for a job. It means keeping in touch with those you know and developing relationships with others. It is certainly appropriate to let them know you are “in transition” or “exploring new career options”, and to ask for suggestions such as good companies to check out, or good industries, etc. But you should also show interest in your contacts – ask what is going on for them and how you might be able to help them. By using effective strategies in the hidden job market, you create a lot more exposure and will be pleasantly surprised when the phone rings for a job you did not even know about!