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You may be surprised to hear that many job opportunities are never advertised or posted on job boards. So, how do you find them?


Here's what you need to know about the hidden job market, and how you can find more job opportunities in your job search.

Why Are Jobs Hidden?

Jobs can be “invisible” for several reasons. One reason is that it takes time and costs money to advertise a position. If an employer knows that the job can be filled internally or from a pool of candidates already on file, by headhunting, or via word of mouth, they’re not likely to advertise. Some companies don’t post open positions because of the deluge of applicants they receive. It’s impossible for them to sort through the 700+ candidates who apply for a job. Another reason why a position might not be advertised is that the employer is looking to replace the person currently in the position.

Should You Look For Hidden Jobs?

Man confused about the hidden job market

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If you don’t take the time to look for hidden jobs, you’re only touching the tip of the iceberg. There will be a great deal of competition for those jobs, and because of that, your chances of securing an interview will be dramatically reduced. If employers have work available, but haven’t yet advertised, the pool of potential candidates narrows to your advantage.

How Can I Find Hidden Jobs?

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The more people who know that you’re looking for work, the more likely someone will have information about a job that isn’t advertised yet, or that may become available in the near future. You might be able to get the name of a good contact, or even a recommendation or referral. The best strategies for finding hidden jobs are to build your professional network and make an interview bucket list to target specific companies.

Here are other ways to find hidden jobs in your job search:

Social Media

Take advantage of social media sites to promote your brand. LinkedIn is, of course, the most commonly used professional networking site. In fact, your chances of getting a job without having a LinkedIn profile are fairly slim. Make sure you're optimizing your LinkedIn profile so recruiters and hiring managers can find you. Also, be aware that whatever you share on social media is in no way private, and potential employers can access it. So, be smart about your social networking.

Informational Interviews

Another way to access hidden jobs is to set up informational interviews with companies you’re interested in. Find someone who currently does what you want to do and ask to set up a time to have a quick chat to learn more. This is something that’s often done by people just starting out in a particular field, but it can actually be helpful at all stages of your career.

Consider Contract Work Or Consulting

If you’re in a career slump, you might consider taking temporary, contract, or consulting positions. Many contract jobs have led to full-time employment, and if nothing else, they create more opportunities for you to network.

Career Fairs

Career fairs can also be great networking opportunities. You might not get an immediate job offer, but that's not really the goal. The goal is to get your name and brand in front of more employers and find new people to network with.

Go Find Those Hidden Jobs

Man thinks about his job search

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Now you can see why employers don’t always advertise employment opportunities or post to job boards (especially at the executive level). If you want to find the hidden job market, follow the tips above! You'll find the right job for you in no time.


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This article was originally published at an earlier date.


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