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The Hidden Job Market: Finding Jobs That Aren’t Advertised

Do you ever feel like all of your friends are bagging themselves fabulous jobs when you’re struggling just to find a job advert that you like the sound of? 

If you are finding it difficult just to find a suitable job to apply for and are fed up with sending your CV off to jobs that already have hundreds of applications and then not hearing anything back, then maybe it’s time you discovered the hidden job market.

What is the hidden job market?

Statistics have shown that as many as 80% of job vacancies never actually get advertised to the public.  These jobs don’t appear in the newspapers or on the internet or even at the job centre, they are the jobs that make up the ‘hidden job market’.  The hidden job market is particularly useful for people who are trying to get into a niche or competitive industry or role where there are fewer opportunities, although having said that absolutely anyone can take advantage of it.

Why not advertise jobs?

But why would companies choose to not advertise their vacancies?  There are a number of reasons.  Firstly, advertising a job vacancy costs money.  It can cost a company a lot of money to advertise their job whether they’re paying for the advert themselves or paying a recruitment agency to list the job.  When they then advertise the job they will be inundated with applications, and often very few of them will be relevant.  Sifting through and reading large quantities of job applications is extremely time consuming and wherever possible businesses prefer to avoid it.

Where do they get candidates?

Businesses that don’t advertise vacancies often already have a pool of potential candidates that they have in mind for the vacancy.  These candidates could be people that they already employ in other areas of the business, people who have sent in their CV speculatively, or people that they have in their network.

How to find jobs in the hidden job market

You will struggle to find the hidden job market unless you are very proactive in your approach to job hunting.  You will also need to identify what kind of work it is that you are looking for before you start searching because you’ll need to target individual people and businesses.

One of the best ways of finding a job that is not being advertised is by word of mouth, so it’s important to make sure that you are continually building up your network of contacts.  The more people that you have in your network the more likely you are to hear about job vacancies as soon as they come up.  The internet and social networking websites like Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter are all excellent for increasing your network and staying in contact with people.  Follow companies that you would potentially like to work for and use your network to let your contacts know that you’re looking for work – the internet is a great way of getting your voice heard in your industry and within your local area.

The other way of discovering jobs before they’ve been advertised is by sending out speculative letters and CVs before any vacancies exist in order to put your name and your skills on the business’ radar.  Make a list of companies within the industry that you would like to work for and within you local area and then send them all a copy of your cover letter and CV.  Follow these companies on social networking websites and introduce yourself to their hiring managers over Linkedin and ask if they will link up with you.  Even if the companies don’t currently have any vacancies available they will be impressed at your proactive nature, and if your experience and skills are suitable they can keep your details on file so that you hear about any future vacancies first.

The most important thing to remember when you’re looking for a job in the hidden job market is to stay alert at all times and to always be on the look out for potential opportunities and contacts.  Be creative in your job search and speak to as many people as you can, the more contacts you have the more opportunities you will hear about.  Good luck!