Unlocking the Hidden Job Market

Look beyond the obvious when searching for a job. Look into the hidden job market. Up to 80 percent of job openings are unadvertised, according to Cornell University Career Services. That adds up to a lot of opportunities — hidden ones that you didn’t know existed. By tapping into this invisible market, you can improve your job prospects dramatically.

Find the Key

Networking can open doors, particularly ones to the hidden job market.
If you rely solely on networking to land your next job, you’ll have a 33 percent success rate, said Richard Bolles in “What Color Is Your Parachute?: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers.” And, two-thirds of job seekers find jobs through networking, according to career experts at the AARP.

If you’re a networking novice, start by asking people you know if they’re acquainted with someone who performs your desired job (or a similar one). Or, inquire if they know anyone who works at a company you’re targeting or in the industry in which you’re interested.

You can also join a career or industry networking group. Make connections at Yahoo! HotJobs’ 35 industry-specific online communities. Or join online mailing lists or a Yahoo! Group that relates to your industry or position.

Due Diligence

You’ll need to do some investigating to find hidden jobs.
That means you’ll need to research specific companies. Find out: What companies in your area employ workers in the position you’re seeking? Which are growing in size and might be hiring?

Research employers by browsing companies on Yahoo! HotJobs. You can also do a keyword search on Yahoo!. Or, try an old-fashioned method and consult your local phone book.

Last, don’t forget to visit to your local library. A reference librarian can help you identify companies to target by browsing through business directories, trade publications and more.

Reach Out

The hidden job market isn’t going to come to you. So you have to go after it.
Combine the leads you’ve gotten from networking with your company research. Then create a list of companies and individuals you want to contact. If you don’t have a specific contact name, research until you get one.

Once you’ve compiled your list, call or email the contacts and request an informational interview. An informational interview is a brief meeting between someone researching a career or industry and someone working in that career or industry.

If you’re nervous, prepare a simple script so you don’t get flustered. Explain that you want to learn about an industry, career or company and ask if the person has some time to talk with you.

Informational interviews may not always lead to a job, but they’re generally time well-spent. You can get feedback on your skills and experience as well as make professional contacts. And, in the best cases, they can help you identify hidden jobs that haven’t been advertised.

Made You Look

Just because a job isn’t posted doesn’t mean that an employer isn’t looking for candidates.One way to gain entrance to the hidden job market: Post your resume on Yahoo! HotJobs. By doing so, you’ll help the tens of thousands of employers and staffing firms searching the Yahoo! HotJobs database find you.

Increase your chances of being found by making sure your resume contains important keywords. Also make sure it reflects the type of job that you’re seeking. Visit Yahoo! HotJobs’ Help section to make sure you’re posting your
resume in the most effective way possible.

After all, a hidden job may be “the right one” for you.

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