How To Get In On The “Hidden Job Market”

According to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, nearly 80% of open jobs are never advertised. So why do so many jobseekers spend countless hours in front of their computer scouring job boards? Because they are using job search techniques that served them well in the past. Nevertheless, those techniques are not working very well.hidden job market Today’s job search is a different animal. To find a job today — you must adapt your job search techniques to today’s competitive job market. Job search best practices suggest that you should spend 80% of your time actively looking for work through networking and only 20% of your time passively searching online.

Here are a couple of tips to accelerate your job search and improve your results.

  • A  job search strategy that combines face-to-face and online networking is frequently cited as the #1 way to find a job today. Many companies do not want to risk hiring a stranger, so they only post jobs internally and ask for employee referrals. Strategic networking can provide you access to these internal job postings. There are a variety of social media platforms you can utilize in your job search. Personally, I prefer LinkedIn, but some jobseekers also use Twitter and Facebook in search of their next position. You can use these social networks in 2 ways: to put yourself out there so the right people find you, and you can also research companies and search for job postings.

To locate face-to-face networking events in your area, ask your local Resource Librarian or use Consider every person you interact with to be a potential job lead. You can ask that they keep you in mind when they hear of a job opening, or to make an introduction But, do not ask them to find you a job. There is no quicker way to turn people off. Just let them know you are actively looking and make sure they are aware of your career aspirations and your key qualifications.

  • Make a list of 10 – 15 target companies where you would like to work. Don’t worry if they do not have any job openings posted. Research these companies so that you are aware of their current initiatives and look for needs that your skillset can fulfill. Good sources of information are the company website, LinkedIn, trade publications and online databases such as Reference USA (free through most large public libraries). Use LinkedIn connections and personal contacts to get in front of the right people. Request informational interviews to learn about gaps they are looking to fill and the skills the company is looking for. Ask for suggestions on training that you can take to make you a more attractive candidate.

The takeaway? There are a lot of jobs out there – you just have to adapt your job search strategies. If you have been in transition for a while, odds are you are either not looking for jobs in the right pace, or your resume is not doing its job. Either way, we can help. Give us a call at 860-658-6480.

Trish McGrath founded The Resume Resource in 2009 to help people develop the tools, strategies and confidence to build satisfying careers. As a Certified Career Transition Coach and Professional Resume Writer, she helps her clients articulate their unique value to stand out from the competition, and guides them through the job search process to make it less overwhelming and more successful. Contact us to see how we can help you build a more rewarding career.  

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