Tuesday, February 18, 2014

How to Tap into the Hidden Job Market

This is a guest post from Just Digital People, a bunch of Digital minded folks based in Brisbane.

Finding a new job is not always easy and many hours can be spent looking through online advertisements, meeting HR consultants and reading newspapers looking for that dream job. What you may not be aware of though is that there is a huge ‘hidden’ job market – in fact a massive percentage of jobs are never advertised traditionally and form what is part of the ‘hidden’ market of jobs that you will need to go out and find for yourself.

Networking is a massive part of tapping into the hidden job market. The old saying – “it’s not what you know but who you know” can be very true. Keeping in contact with former workers and colleagues, industry professionals is just part of it. Another way to do so is to join industry groups and associations, sign up for their newsletters, attend their member functions and talk to fellow members about what you are looking for and what you can do. Make sure you are checking out the HR professional websites who often have online newsletters and blogs about upcoming trends, and what is happening in different industries – many specialise in particular fields, such as Just Digital People so it is wise to keep up to date with clients they are talking about and trends they discuss.

Cold calling could also be part of tapping into the hidden job market. If you have identified your core strengths and the type of job that you are really looking for, think about the companies that employ those types of people and make a list of the ones in your local area. Sit down somewhere quiet where you won’t be disturbed and ring them directly. Ask them initially if they have a designated Human Resources section that handles job applicants and resumes and perhaps prepare a little speech of what you are looking for and why you have rung them. They may ask you to send them a resume to put on file so make sure you have one up to date and ready to send them to immediately as punctuality is important and you want them to think you are eager to be considered.

Seeking out a mentor is another great way to tap into the hidden job market. Whether it be someone you have worked with or know personally or someone you aspire to be like, tracking them down and asking them if they would mentor you could be a great approach. In a lot of cases, many people are flattered that someone else thinks their skills and personality are worthy of acting as a mentor to someone else and if their work schedule allows for it, they will happily take on a mentoring role. This can help you develop particular skills as well as widening the circle of contact you have. Make sure it is a win win situation for your mentor though and that you make efforts to help out your mentor in any way you can or show your gratitude for what they are doing for you. It is unlikely they will recommend you to colleagues if they don’t think you are professional or grateful for their help.