Where is the Hidden Job Market?
You've probably heard about the "hidden job market. Like most people, you may have some thoughts about what that is and where you can find it.
First, the "hidden job market" isnt really hidden as much as, it is not well known or utilized. When we first start looking for a job, we usually look at the classifieds listed in newspapers or online. Most jobs and careers are not advertised, so you are best to do certain activities to increase your chances of landing that great job.
1. Research and contact
Make a list of the top 5 employers that interest you and start researching them. Learn everything you can about them. If you like what you're learning about a company, and you sense that it is a good place to pursue a career, contact the company and set up a time to come in and learn more about it. Explain that you are simply interested in knowing more and want to talk to someone who can help you know more about the company. Where possible, you can also drop in and introduce yourself. The idea is to discover as much as you can about the companies that you would like to work for, before you apply for a position. When contacting employers, try to set up an informational interview, an interview where you can introduce yourself to the employer while learning more about the firm. Like any interview, be prepared with questions to ask along with a resume, should the employers decide that they would like to see one from you. Follow up with a thank-you card mailed to each person that took the time to talk with you.
Weve all heard about the importance of networking. You have probably heard the phrase, Its who you know. Thats very true. 60-80% of jobs can be found through networking. Let your friends and family know that you are looking for work. Join a job-hunters group. Job-hunters groups work to help you keep your morale positive and your activity up as you will be connected to people committed to action. Visit your local Chamber of Commerce and see if you can attend a business mixer. Business mixers are great ways to break the ice with potential employers and get leads about potential jobs in your area.
3. Job fairs
Most communities have at least one yearly job fair that you can attend. You may have to travel a bit to get to the nearest job fair, but it will be well worth the effort. Many companies rely on job fairs to discover who is out there looking to develop a career in their market. Job fairs can occur at your local high school, your local college or university, or be hosted at the employers place of business, such as ski resorts, factories, or other industries.
4. Volunteer organizations
Another way to create a new set of contacts is to volunteer your time in your community. By volunteering, you get to meet new people and develop new contacts that could lead you to that new job. Pick an activity that plays into the strengths that you can offer a potential employer. Don't forget that volunteering can also develop skills that will fill out your Skills section of your resume, adding to your profile.
The number one obstacle to your success in accessing the "hidden job market" is inertia or lack of activity. It is vital to be doing something everyday towards your goal of getting that job. Write down what you plan on doing each day in a day planner or in an electronic calendar that you can refer to daily. Plan your actions and then work on your plan. Whether its getting out and looking at the job boards, phoning potential employers, researching specific companies, revising your cover letter for a specific job, it is vital that you remain active. If you would like to add a little drama to your search, you are a detective looking for all the clues that lead to solving the mystery of where your career can be found.
By applying these five tactics, you will discover the hidden job market and be well on your way to getting your great career off the ground. Good luck!
Written by: Jason Bermiller, Canada (MA in Professional Writing and Language (2000, University of Waterloo))
Edited by: Rajesh Bihani ( Find me on Google+ )