You might be looking at the title of this article and thinking ‘hang on a min… wtf do you mean by hidden job market?!’
Ladies and gents, It’s time to blow your mind.
Did you know it’s estimated that 70% of all available jobs aren’t even being advertised online?
So where and why are they hiding?
Finding The Hidden Job Market
These ‘hidden’ jobs are the kind that can only be accessed by networking, building relationships, and getting your name out there.
Here are some of the (many) ways you can get into a ‘hidden’ job role:
- Building connections with people in companies that you want to work for
- Asking people you’re close with to keep an eye and ear out
- Starting at a low or intern level to get a foot in the door
- Building such a strong online presence that people who don’t even know you personally recommend you for jobs. Yes, this can happen!
You may be wondering who you could possibly network with as a student…
Finding The Hidden Job Market As A Student or Graduate
LinkedIn is the Willy Wonka of the hidden job market, and a good profile and active presence is your golden ticket in.
The more you post, the more people see your skills, experience and profile. So, how do you go about networking and building these relationships?
Research is the key to connecting with people who might help you out in the future. Write a list/create a spreadsheet of all the people you want to target (not as sinister as it sounds) and get researching. This is a process called prospecting and is a valuable skill in itself (literally anyone in a sales or business development role will have to do this daily – and get paid for it…).
Once you’ve found something to either start a conversation or to create immediate familiarity, personalise your invite. If you haven’t been doing this already, we have no words for you.
If you need some inspo, check out our blog ‘How To Write The Perfect LinkedIn Request’.
Then when they accept you, it’s up to you to get the conversation flowing. Pick up on any points of common interest and get building that relationship. Keep an eye out for any posts or articles that may interest them, engage with their content and offer support if they need it.
It goes without saying that you don’t want to be a pest, don’t overwhelm them with content and messages. On the flip side, you also don’t want to just send a message thanking them for connecting with you then ghost it.
You have to be genuinely interested in pursuing a conversation with them – 99% of the time they can tell if you have ulterior motives, so just focus on becoming friendly.
To help with this process, try writing down a 4 week plan for networking with all new connections on Linkedin. Check out the example below for what your first two weeks might look like when trying to crack the hidden job market:
LinkedIn Networking Plan
Week 1: connect / say hey / comment on something specific about the person, their company, an article or interview they’ve been in, or the university they studied at. BUILD RAPPORT.
Week 2: send them something useful or interesting – an article, an introduction to someone in your network, a book or podcast suggestion. Talk about why this is important or it will absolutely 100% help them and therefore they must check it out. BECOME USEFUL TO THEM.
Onto online presence…
Finding ‘Hidden’ Jobs By Building An Online Presence
Again, LinkedIn is probably going to be the best place for this. If you’re already a little active, you probably see some people’s names cropping up again and again in your feed, you can’t help but to notice them.
That could be you.
Posting and engaging regularly is the way forward. It’s scary to get started, but piss easy when you’ve done it a few times.
Always aim to start a conversation, convey your skills, demonstrate honesty about a difficult subject that everyone else is too scared to talk about, or add value to someone’s day. Be a THOUGHT LEADER.
Still not convinced?
Say over the next month you have a conversation with someone, and find yourself really motivated and inspired. You take that inspiration and create a LinkedIn post to start a conversation about your new ideas. That post gets a couple of likes and comments, meaning your post is pushed out to thousands of people each time someone interacts. Before you know it, it’s landed on the feed of a potential employer. They can tell from your post that you’re motivated and driven, with a hunger to learn – wow, just the person they’re looking for! They check out your profile and see that you have relevant experience. Boom, they reach out to you.
All because you posted on LinkedIn.
This literally happens daily, and you could be next.
Time to get posting and find that hidden job market…