You don’t have to wait for employers to come to you. Use the hidden job market to connect with influential professionals in your career field, build relationships and sell yourself as a valuable employee, without even seeing a job description or application. The hidden job market refers to positions that are filled either through unanticipated hiring or with previously identified candidates, regardless of whether the post was advertised or not. This is frustrating, but you can make the hidden job market work for you – not against you – if understand how to expand and use your network to your advantage.
Expand Your Influence
The more people you know, the better chances you have at landing a job through the hidden job market. Making connections with professionals in your career field will allow you to build relationships with decision makers in companies you want to work for. “Get to know people through professional volunteering, joining associations and community action groups,” recommends Shannon Templin, director of career services for Globe Education Network. “This is one of the most effective methods to linking into the hidden job market. People like to do business with people they know and trust.”
Networking isn’t just about getting a job, but about building important professional relationships that will help you in the future. When you show genuine enthusiasm for your career and surround yourself with others who have a similar passion, employers will take notice. “Great networkers attract other talent by having a positive attitude,” Templin says. Good relationships with your professional peers will not only increase your chances of being hired, but Templin says you also have to help other people find jobs through positive word of mouth. “Maintaining individual credibility is a key factor when making referrals in the hidden job market,” he says. “Be professional in all interactions. You never know who your next employer will be,” Templin says.
Whether at a networking event, career fair or just having a casual conversation in a coffee shop, you never know when you could be talking with your future employer. Templin suggests you prepare and memorize an “elevator speech” that showcases your key skills, experience and education so that you can sell yourself at a moment’s notice. “Build your brand on what you can do for the employer and how you can help them succeed,” says Templin. “Be flexible so that you are able to highlight your skills in different time lengths to fit every networking conversation. Communicating effectively with key decision makers is a very import aspect in the hidden job market.”
Seize the Moment
Take initiative by finding companies on LinkedIn that you would like to work for, send them your resume and explain how they can benefit from your skills. Social media is very useful, but Templin also stresses the importance of personal connections. “Don’t be afraid to network face to face,” he says. People tend to be shy, but attending professional events and conducting informational interviews will build confidence and put you in front of potential job opportunities.
Strategies such as reaching out to hiring managers directly or contacting employees of a company to learn whether there are any jobs open or becoming available areother ways you can uncover jobs in the hidden job market.
If you have ever searched for a job, you can relate to how frustrating the inability to find something despite sending out hundreds of resumes can be. But if you know how to use the hidden job market to your benefit, you will find success. To learn more about Globe University and career support services visit www.globeuniversity.edu/about-us/career-services.