People talk about the hidden job market, but what is it and how do you find the jobs that are never advertised?
The hidden job market has the jobs that are never advertised; the jobs that people get because they ‘know someone who knows someone’, or they are directly approached through networks. This job market has expanded rapidly with the advent of social media and the availability of new digital business networks like LinkedIn, which make this information available to everyone. This is particularly important in professional services jobs or those in health, education or related areas.
How do you find these opportunities?
Get an Online presence
Start a LinkedIn profile - join the interest groups and follow the companies that you want to work for. Ensure that the profile is well-written and professionally-sounding. Be aware that only work-related information should be shown on the profile – no one cares what type of pet you have or your star sign, so just provide accurate and up to date information about your qualifications, skills and work experience.
Value your existing Connections
Connect with people you have previously worked with or know that may be able to assist you. Your existing connections are the most valuable way to access the hidden job market. Try to engage with these people in a meaningful way without making it sound like you are just looking for their help. If the connection is mutually beneficial it may lead to something. Share your (professional) opinion or a link to someone else’s. Give something first and you are more likely to get something back. If you are seeking a job opportunity, let them know. They might know someone who could be looking for you!
Manage Your Brand
This might seem like a strange expression, but whether you like it or not the way you present yourself online is a type of branding. You need to manage the way you appear through your messages, your content and images in a way that is professional and appropriate. If you are looking to work as a Disability Worker, think about how the consumer of those services would like to see you. Develop your LinkedIn profile so that it appeals to your audience. If you’re not sure how to do that, then ask someone who can help.
People who get the best opportunities know their own values and goals. They are well aligned, which makes work enjoyable. People who know themselves are good goal setters who often outperform their objectives.
Invest In Yourself
People who get ahead in their careers value learning and invest in themselves. There is always something to learn or improve. Do some leadership development, find a mentor or mentor others, do some further technical/discipline specific training. If you are continually developing yourself you will have greater visibility and attract the hidden opportunities.
Scot Weeks (Managing Director)