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Home » Get A Job

Secrets to Tapping into the Hidden Job Market – Part 1

26 October 2009 Written by: Mary Elizabeth Bradford One Comment

Ahhhhhh…the mysterious, hidden job market. I dedicate this article to all those professionals out there who have heard about the hidden market, but wonder why you should concern yourself with it.

This is not only a topic I love because I have personally witnessed over and over again how using the right job search strategies instantly increases interviews and job offers. It puts you the job seeker back in the control seat and gets you off that depressing job board treadmill!

So let’s begin by dispelling a few myths:

True or false: With all the jobs listed on the internet today, I don’t need to concern myself with any “hidden” job market.

False. That is, if you care about getting more than a measly 1-to-3% response rate from the resumes you send out using major job boards.

In other words, did you send out 50 resumes using job boards and you still haven’t heard anything back? Well, by these standards your only problem is you haven’t begun to send out enough resumes, yet…yikes!

The good news about these stats is that there are a whole bunch of job seekers out there that just started to feel a whole lot better about themselves. The bad news is that this proves job boards are a really depressing, hard and painful way for the majority of us to land great jobs.

Mark Hovind, President of Jobbait.com specializes in helping executives tap into what is called the unadvertised job market. He regularly releases reports that show, among other things, hiring trends (based on BLS JOLTS data) per industry. His figures show that for May 2009, about 500,000 $100k+ positions will be filled nationwide (new and replacement jobs). Over 80% of those positions will not be advertised. That is a powerful motivator to learn how to set yourself apart from your competition and learn how to tap into the hidden job market.

True or false: I should only answer jobs that are advertised because I will look stupid if I send my resume to a company when I have no idea if they need someone like me.

False. Way back when I had my own executive recruiting firm I remember client companies telling me, “We don’t have any immediate needs right now, but if you find a superstar, please don’t forget about us – we want to see their resume!”

Not only do companies always make time for people who are “superstars” (and a lot of this has to do with the way you market yourself to them), but most companies go through at least five steps to fill a position before they will post the position to a major job board.

Think about it. If you have a key position that just opened up in your company, is the first thing you do pick up the phone and call Monster? No, of course not!

You get on the phone to a few trusted colleagues. You look to see if anyone already on board is qualified to be promoted to it or alert your staff to refer someone they might know. You launch an intimate grass roots campaign to try to fill this position way before the general public is notified. And if after a few weeks, the position is still not filled, perhaps you contact a related association to post the job on their members only job board or you contract a recruiter.

True or false: I have heard the interview process is shorter and the salary package can be significantly higher with unadvertised opportunities.
True! Why? Because when you pursue unadvertised jobs you are almost always talking with the company key decision makers right from the start. You have more creativity to sell your skills and build the value of who you can be to the company. And finally, because these interviews usually lack the formality of a full blown human resource driven candidate search, your competition is significantly lower AND the salary terms are less likely to be chiseled in stone. I have seen this play out in my clients’ favor time after time!

True or false: I am not “high enough up” the ladder to seek out unadvertised opportunities. The hidden job market only applies to executives.

False. ANYONE (and I mean even if you are right out of college) can enjoy the benefits of the hidden job market. These jobs are available on all levels and in virtually all industries.

The trick is to hone your focus so you actually achieve the results you want (more on that later!).

Would you like to learn how to quickly and easily get more interviews, shorten your job search and increase your salary? Check out my website: http://www.maryelizabethbradford.com, for free articles, free resources and to sign up for my free audio mini-seminar “5 Simple Steps To Find, Focus On and WIN Your Dream Job – Starting Today!” Internationally Certified Advanced Resume Writer, Job-Search Coach and Internationally Certified Master Career Director Mary Elizabeth Bradford is “The Career Artisan.”


Mary Elizabeth Bradford is a frequent contributor and author of the Career Jockey recommended "Secrets of the Unadvertised Job Market...Revealed." Would you like to learn how to quickly and easily get more interviews, shorten your job search and increase your salary? Check out my website www.maryelizabethbradford.com for free articles, free resources and to sign up for my free audio mini-seminar “5 Simple Steps To Find, Focus On and WIN Your Dream Job – Starting Today!” Job-Search Coach, Internationally Certified Master Career Director and Internationally Certified Advanced Resume Writer Mary Elizabeth Bradford is “The Career Artisan.”

You can learn so much about this author by clicking here.

One Comment »

  • uberVU - social comments said:

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    This post was mentioned on Twitter by CareerJockey: Secrets to Tapping into Hidden Job Markets http://ow.ly/xtuN

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