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Hidden job market

What is the Hidden Job Market and How Do You Access It?

We’ve all been there—You’re scrolling through LinkedIn, and you happen upon a post from one of your connections who just landed your dream job at your dream company, but how? You have been checking their openings for MONTHS, and they did not post a single open position similar to what you’ve been looking for! Read on for some tips on how to find those hidden positions.

What is the Hidden Job Market?

The “Hidden Job Market” is a nonmaterial realm of open jobs that are not publicly posted. There can be several reasons that a job is not publicly posted. One reason may be that the company saves time and money by only seeking candidates through connections and current employees. They could also be using an outside recruiter to headhunt for the job rather than posting the job for the masses to apply for it. Usually, this allows the company to be more selective and only spend their time and resources on serious/qualified candidates.

How do I access the Hidden Job Market?

Contrary to popular belief, the secret to accessing the hidden job market is NOT standing in front of a mirror and whispering, “Great salary, good benefits, hybrid schedule” three times. As much as we wish this were true, a recruiter will not appear behind you with a list of open positions.

The real key to accessing the hidden job market is connecting. Speak with people you know and reach out to people you don’t know! Check out our previous blog about networking to get some helpful tips about growing your network. Seek out people who work for your desired companies or may have connections to those who do.

When speaking with your connections, be forthright about what you are looking for. Are you looking for a friend? A career mentor? A job? Nothing is worse than the old “I want to get to know you—actually, I just need a favor from you” switch-a-roo. People value honesty. Let them know that you are hoping to learn more about their company or field and that you would like to hear about any open positions that they know of. Usually, people do not mind helping someone out, even if they are nearly a stranger. Additionally, employees often receive monetary compensation if their referral is hired, so they also may have $$something$$ to gain from connecting with you and forwarding your resume to their hiring team.

How can I land the job?

Be intentional about each job you apply to. Tailor your resume to each job description and format it well. Be proactive in the application and interview process. Ask any connections what you can do to stand out from other candidates and apply what you learn. Always include a cover letter when applying and attach a well-organized portfolio when applicable. If invited back for an interview, ask the interviewer if there is anything they would like you to prepare to bring to the interview. Show you care and that you appreciate the opportunity. Check out this article about standing out.

Now that you know the secrets of the hidden job market, get out there and start making connections!

Check out JSG’s open positions on our career board! We may have your next dream job.

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