Tips for Accessing the Hidden Job Market

The Hidden Job Market

Looking for a job online at and other job banks, and applying to positions on these websites, are great ways to find the “advertised’ positions: that is, postings that are publicly displayed.

In total, these types of opportunities only make up a portion of all the work that’s available. Where then are all the other jobs concealed?

 They are in the so-called “hidden job market,” which is made up of openings that become available but don’t get widely published. This happens many times every workday. For instance, someone may quit unannounced, leaving an immediate gap. Or else a company might land a major new client and need to hire right away (but they don’t want to pay for advertising the jobs or going through recruiters). These types of examples form the hidden job market – positions that are filled by, or created for, candidates (job seekers) who come to an employer’s attention through employee recommendations, referrals from trusted associates, direct inquiries and the networking efforts of a job seeker. The idea here is to reach an employer before they even publicize a new position.

 Here are some ways how to tap into the Hidden Job Market

Cold Marketing simply means that the employers you apply to, do not know you previously. The key here is to get your resume in front of the people who are in charge of hiring. Under cold marketing you may choose the following methods:

♦      Mass Mailing – sending out resumes to the companies and organizations that are in your geographic area you would consider working in.  It is a low percentage strategy but it does get your name out to a wide swath of employers

♦      Targeted Mailing – sending out customized resumes/applications to companies and organizations you are interested for. You can boost your chances for targeted mailings by:

  • Getting the correct name, title and spelling of the hiring manager
  • Researching the employer beforehand and including a bit of what you know about them in your cover letter
  • Following up within five business days of sending your application with a polite phone call, asking if they’ve received it, and if you might come in to discuss opportunities

Warm Marketing (Networking) simply means that a path has been paved for you by someone that has a connection to the employer. You can do this by letting your friends, family members, acquaintances know of the type of position you are searching for. In turn, they will let others know of your job search efforts and this will create your network. The goal is to use your network to get yourself in front of the employer. Don’t be shy, let people know what you are searching for and market your skills!

The Resume Drop-Off is another method you are able to use. While you are there dropping off your resume/application, you can ask to see the manager and introduce yourself in person. Don’t forget to have your “30 second elevator speech” ready to go!

Personnel Agencies are another popular step. If a company does not have the time to advertise and interview candidates for particular jobs, they may seek the assistance of recruiters. Try to connect with recruiters in your area so that you have others helping you in your search as well.

Making your way through the hidden job market takes time and effort. By using some of the methods described above, you cover the employment road. Mesh it together and include a healthy dose of online job hunting, and you have a winning game plan.

To learn more, contact Skills Connect at 604 575 3800