There’s much debate about the size of the hidden job market. Don’t get caught up in that. It’s irrelevant. Fact is, there are jobs never advertised and the possibilities are prime because you can often land a job that is ideal for your lifestyle and skill set.
Another advantage with this hidden market is that you’re not competing with hundreds or thousands of other applicants on the open job market and that increase your hiring chances. Here’s a step-by-step plan to help you tap into this market.
First, If you’re wondering why a company would have a need and not advertise it, let’s breakdown a few reasons why this happens.
- Most employers can save money and time if they can hire without formal posting
- Many of these positions are filled internally or from referrals, which hiring managers feel more confident about than individuals who have no relationship (direct or indirect) with the company.
So , how do you take advantage and land a job in this hidden market? Let’s break down a plan of action:
- Set aside time every week for your hidden job market activities. The more consistent you are, and the more time you put into it, the higher your chances of success.
- Create a strong online presence that’s uniform. This is the most basic, but vital step. People are looking for people online. It’s that simple. Whether on Twitter, LinkedIn, or your own blog. Do you have an online presence available for public viewing? If you do, make sure it’s consistent and up-to date.
- Be your own publicist. Go to networking events, frequent forums in your industry, talk to people. Let them know what you’re interested in, skilled at, and looking for. Try to get connections (introductions) where appropriate. Introductions and referrals are gold. Ask for them and follow up professionally.
Along with networking, approach companies directly. Find out if they have open positions. Be clear about your skills and what you have to offer.. This is how many hidden job market positions are filled.
- Become a research ninja. Is there a company you’d like to work for? Why that one? Have you thoroughly researched the company, its mission, and it’s vision? Is the hiring manager on social media? Can you connect with them (in a non-cheesy) way? In the job search world, connections are king. This should always be top of mind for you. Building a wide network of solid connections pays off in the long run.
- Change your mindset and approach: focus on filling needs, not getting a job. Your focus is never to get a job, although that will be the obvious end goal. Your focus is to help fill a need or many needs (if you’re multi-talented like that). When you change your focus, you can present yourself as someone worth connecting with. Also keep this in mind when networking. How can help others? Can you make a connection? Share a resource? Or give a valuable referral. By approaching it this way, you become a person known as a problem solver and connector. This keeps you top of mind and builds more genuine connections.
- Always be open– if you remain open to opportunities, you’re more likely to recognize them when they arise.
If you follow those tips, you’ll be miles ahead of other applicants when it comes to landing a job on the hidden job market. You’ll be able to find out about position before they’re advertised and you’ll also increase your chances of landing a job quicker than other job seekers.