Thousands of jobs are filled without ever being advertised. A small business owner might tell his team a new position has opened, and that they are welcome to submit the resume of anyone they think is qualified. The same thing happens in big corporations.
What I described above is what’s traditionally referred to as hidden jobs. Applicants usually look for hidden jobs by asking their friends and family for referrals, and posting about their job hunt on social media.
Today, I’m going to show you other ways to tap into the hidden job market so you can cast a wider net and find a job faster.
- Ask Former Bosses and Clients
They can’t re-hire you if you just quit from their company, but they are in a good position to recommend you to people like them—people who make hiring decisions—in other companies. Do leave in a professional manner and keep in touch with your former boss, so you can still ask them the favor of recommending you for available jobs they know of, even if it’s been months or years since your resignation.
- Former Colleagues
Your previous co-workers are just as important as your former boss for job recommendations. Yes, they’re less likely to hire you directly, but the company where they work now might be hiring someone with your skills. Besides, employees usually receive a referral incentive whenever one of their recommendations gets hired.
- Alumni Associations
College alumni associations usually have job boards, and some of their more active members often take an active part in helping other alumni in their job search.
- Regional and Local Papers
Have you checked the job section in your local paper? Not all companies list their job postings online, some still advertise in local papers.
- Local Seminars and Industry Talks
Spend time networking with the speakers and attendees of local events to expand your network. You never know, one of them might be looking to hire someone with your professional experience.
In most cases, none of the people you talk to will point you to an available job right away. But if you take time to ask insightful questions and connect with them after the event, you’ll be at the top of their mind when an opportunity arises after the event.
- Job Search Group
Contrary to popular belief, job search support groups aren’t built so people could band together and commiserate on their lack of employment. These support groups meet to share job search tips, interview experiences, and most importantly, search for job leads for one another. For instance, the IT expert in the room may hear of an opportunity suitable for the out of work chef in the same group. Some job search groups also include employed members, so as to balance the crowd.
- Local Library
Search your local library for trade magazines, business journals, and association listings, and then explore the classifieds section of these publications for available jobs. You may also collect the business names and addresses you find, so you can search for them online and check their websites for available opportunities.
- Set up a Google Alert
Why spend hours searching through multiple job boards when you can have the jobs sent to your email? Just use Google Alerts to get daily or weekly notifications of jobs in your specialty and location. For instance, you can set up an alert for “Cybersecurity, jobs, Richmond VA” so you can receive alerts whenever content with these keywords are published.
Why Bother Looking for a Hidden Job?
You might think spending time searching and applying for hidden jobs is a waste of time. But if you think about it, hidden jobs are easier to win because less people know about it and the pool of applicants you’ll be competing with is smaller.