If you’re a serious job hunter you’ve bound to have come across a term known as “The hidden job market”, but do we really understand what it is?
The hidden job market is a job which is never advertised or formally posted. The hidden job market now accounts for up to 80% of hires according to some sources.
So why is it so important we understand the hidden job market? Well firstly, with 80% of jobs not being advertised, that’s more than half of all hires. That mean’s you’re only actually applying or seeing a small 20% of the jobs available. Plus, are you tired of hearing that over 100 people have applied for the same job? Competition is fierce. You can search the open jobs using our job search here.
Given the choice, most employers would prefer to fill their vacancies without advertising, saving not only time but also thousands of pounds. It’s time to eliminate the competition and get creative.
So how do we find the hidden jobs when they are not formally advertised? One word, “Connections”. We should be building connections when we are in work and outside of work, as you never know where your next job/opportunity may come from.
Here are six key strategies to help you penetrate “the hidden jobs market” by expanding your reach and improving your networking skills.
1. Update the way you network
First and foremost you need to make networking a habit rather than a casual occurrence, every day, even when you’re working and not looking for a new job. This way you will always be building new connections, just make sure you keep in touch regularly with your connections as to not lose touch.
Secondly, remember that to create new and fruitful connections you must give before you receive. Networking is about building lasting and genuine relationships, not just continually asking for favours. Forward articles you think may be useful to people you know.
2. Contact companies directly
Like all of us, there will be some key companies in our sector that we dream of working for. We check every few days on their website to see if any of the vacancies they are advertising are right for us. Why not just pick up the phone, send an email, or go in and speak to the manager of the department you’d like to work in and request a meeting to discuss your skills and what you could bring to the organisation. With LinkedIn, it’s easier than ever to find the right person to speak to, leverage your existing connections to get introduced to the hiring manager through a referral of an existing connection.
3. Attend exhibitions and conferences
These are ideal places to search the hidden job market. Not only will you be able to make a whole new bunch of key contacts and connections, you’ll also be able to speak directly to the key decision makers. Granted, this can be a costly way to build connections, especially if you’re currently out of work, but a great tip is to speak to the company organising the exhibition and see if you can volunteer. Again, building more connections.
4. Use LinkedIn
This is a great tool for building your connections and it makes it simple to do. If you don’t have a profile, get one. You can use it to post articles in your desired field and grab the attention of key contacts. Also, search the Internet for other key professional networking groups such as online blogs. These are a great way to post articles and make new connections.
5. Use the news to your advantage
With so many news mediums in today’s modern world we are being told about news from all angles, everywhere we go, but do we really understand how to turn the news into opportunities? Companies are always looking to boast about a new product or service and to spread the word about how brilliant they are. This is like pockets of gold; we just need to learn where the opportunities lie. For example, you hear about a new supermarket being built in the next 6 months. This is perfect, contact the company, tell them how you heard about their new venture and that you’re really excited for them. Then ask them for a meeting to discuss how you could add value to their new venture. Use the newspapers, the Internet, TV, radio and don’t forget to subscribe to news channels such as Google News. Get the alerts that matter to you straight to your inbox.
6. What ever you do, don’t give up
Building connections can be hard work, but hey, normally the good things in life are worth working for. Don’t forget, relationship building needs to become a habit, something you do all the time, even when you think you have your dream job, as you never know when a better opportunity may present itself.