The hidden job market is a substantial source of good jobs that many job hunters overlook.
We hear all the time about the many job sites on the Internet and the multitude of job openings. We look in the local and national newspapers and see more job openings. But do you know that up to 75% of job vacancies are never shown in the media. If you want to find the right job with the right employer an important consideration is using the good old fashioned detective work to uncover the unpublished job vacancies.
This does not mean you ignore the newspaper, the job websites or other options in your job search. Uncovering a job in the largely hidden job market is to take action, every day. The hands-on approach will pay dividends as there are more job opportunities than ever before.
The first step in getting started in your job hunt is to remain positive; you’ll get a lot of “no’s” so recognize its part of the process. Remember for every no you get you’re one step closer to your ideal job. Applicants who show enthusiasm, are confident and express an ongoing positive attitude are always in demand.
The second thing to recognize is that looking for work is basically a long-term investment. The right job with the right employer may pay you a million dollars or more. The employer may invest $100,000 or more to put you on the payroll. Now is the time to build into your job hunting plan the necessary telephone skills, employer and business segment research, and networking strategies that will contribute to your success.
With there two important components of our job hunting program being worked on we turn to the underground or hidden job market. Here are some strategies to get you started in your detective work to help uncover a job in the hidden job market that fits your career goals, and very important, with a great employer.
1. Tell as many people as possible about your job hunt. Develop a short (no longer than 20 seconds and two or three sentences) summation of your skills and what job you’re looking for. Practice this short pitch until it’s second nature. Have a miniature or short hand resume to hand out. Keep records of who you talk to. Always ask for referrals. Follow-up with hand written thank you notes.
2. Research the local newspapers and local business journals; go back six months or longer. What employers are expanding? Who bought out a competitor? Who is moving an operation to the area? Who got promoted to a new position that is growing? Now research the employer, use your contacts to get in to see the hiring official before the jobs or position is advertised.
3. Do market research on companies and jobs that you would ideally like to work in. Find suppliers, distributors and competitors. Get information from the yellow pages. Are there any small businesses that are growing within the sector? If so, make contact with that smaller employer to determine if there are any openings. Be persistent, don’t stop at the first no, situations change, go back periodically.
4. Determine ways to expand your network. Is there a professional association you can join? Job forums on the internet? Attend local meetings of the Chamber of Commerce? Any community projects you can be involved with? All will expand your job hunting circle and help you tap into the hidden job market.
5. Complete the circle. Keep in touch with people that have provided you with referrals or any job hunting assistance. At the second or third contact they may come up with new ideas or sources of possible jobs. Keep good records on when you talked with someone and what you discussed. Plan your follow-up contacts.
6. Research resources such as professional journals, association directories, and other organizations for possible jobs in the hidden job market. The contacts gathered from these sources can be invaluable. Use the reference librarian at your local library. They can be a big help.
The above six ideas should get you started in your detective work on finding the right job in the hidden job market. Remember stay positive, think longer term, and keep good records with appropriate follow-up. With organized detective work you’ll be well on your way to uncovering the right job with the right employer.
By John Groth