We all know that job searching can be both a challenging and time-consuming process, especially if you’re solely relying on traditional job search methods such as job boards and career fairs. While these methods can be helpful, they often overlook the hidden job market – positions that are not publicly advertised or posted online. So, what are these hidden job opportunities, how do they differ from other job postings and how to discover these obscure jobs?
A hidden job opportunity refers to a job opening that is not publicly advertised or posted online. These positions are typically filled through referrals or networking, and they can often be a great way to get your foot in the door with a company or industry. Hidden job opportunities can include positions that are in the process of being created, jobs that are filled through employee referrals, or jobs that are filled through direct outreach to a company or hiring manager.
While these opportunities may require more effort to uncover, they can often lead to a higher chance of success in the job search process. Seeking these hidden jobs can include networking, informational interviewing, cold calling, targeting employers, using a value proposition letter, or by reaching out to employers about potential opportunities before they become public knowledge.
Ways to Explore Hidden Job Opportunities
According to a report by LinkedIn, up to 85% of jobs are filled through networking and referrals. In this blog, we’ll explore some tips and strategies for uncovering hidden job opportunities and tapping into the power of networking.
- Network, Network, Network - Networking is one of the most effective ways to uncover hidden job opportunities. Make connections with people in your industry, join professional organizations, attend events, and take advantage of social media platforms like LinkedIn. Reach out to your contacts, former colleagues, and friends and let them know your job searching. They might be aware of an opening that hasn’t been advertised yet, or they could refer you to someone who is hiring.
- Utilize Social Media - Social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter can be useful tools for finding hidden job opportunities. On LinkedIn, you can use the “Jobs” tab to search for open positions and also browse company pages to see if they have any current job openings. Follow companies you’re interested in and engage with their content to increase your visibility. On Twitter, you can use hashtags like #jobsearch or #hiring to find job listings and connect with recruiters.
- Do Informational Interviews - Informational interviews are a great way to learn about a particular job or industry, build relationships, and uncover hidden job opportunities. Reach out to professionals in your desired field and ask if they’d be willing to meet with you to discuss their job and industry. Even if they don’t have a job opening, they may know someone who does. Be sure to prepare thoughtful questions and follow up with a thank-you note after the interview.
- Research Small Companies - Small companies may not have the resources to post job listings on job boards, so they often rely on referrals and word-of-mouth to find candidates. Do some research on small companies in your area or industry and reach out to them directly. Send a personalized cover letter and resume and express your interest in their company and mission. You might be surprised at the opportunities that arise.
- Attend Industry Events - Attending industry events like conferences, workshops, and meetups can be a great way to meet new people, learn about the latest trends in your industry, and uncover hidden job opportunities. Make sure to come prepared with business cards, dress professionally, and engage in conversations with other attendees. You never know who you might meet or what job opportunities might arise.
- Write a Value Proposition Letter - Value proposition letters have been proven to have a high success rate of securing employment. When done correctly a value proposition letter can open doors that networking and resumes may never be able to.
Be a proactive job seeker and take an active role in finding your next opportunity! Instead of sitting back and waiting for the perfect position to cross your path, go out and find it. Not only can this be a more empowering and less frustrating position to be in, it also may produce more interviews and offers in less time.
If you want to read another resource on how to expand you professional network, we've linked that blog post here. Good luck in your job search!