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How to access the hidden job market

    Icebergs demonstrate the hidden job market

    Up to 80% of all available jobs are never advertised. Companies prefer not to advertise for new employees because it saves money and time. So if you’re relying on jobs to be advertised you could miss out on your ideal role. Rather than waiting for roles to come to you via recruitment agencies or job search engines, use a proactive job search strategy to access the hidden job market.

    Make the hidden job market work for you

    The good news about the hidden job market is that it can be easier to secure a role via this route. Fewer people will know about it, which means fewer people will apply and your competition is reduced.

    There are various ways to tap into opportunities and find out about unadvertised jobs. Here are some proactive job searching tips to access the hidden job market.


    To access jobs hidden from most people, network as much as possible. This will increase your chances of finding out about opportunities. Employers often prefer referrals from connections than hiring someone unknown.

    Use social media to stay in touch with former colleagues, employers, clients, customers, classmates and friends. Also use it to track down available jobs. Keep adding new connections. Networking groups can be also a good source of leads about employers looking to hire.

    If you find networking a challenge, there are easy ways to network. Try forwarding articles that might be helpful to your contacts and passing on job leads. Make it part of your normal routine, whether you’re looking for a new job or not.

    Don’t forget to tell people that you’re looking for a new job and the kinds of positions and employers that interest you. Ask for introductions. A simple “Who else should I be talking to?” could give you some potential leads.

    Research to access the hidden job market

    Find out about hidden jobs by keeping up-to-date with news about prospective employers and the industries they work in. Information such as new partnership deals, announcements of funding agreements or news about office space being leased can indicate an organisation is experiencing growth and may soon be hiring.

    Sign up for a news alert service such as Google News Alerts, setting up email alerts for employers and industries that you are targeting in your job search.

    Contact employers

    Don’t wait to see a position advertised – contact your preferred employers directly. Even during hiring freezes, many will be interested in meeting you and finding out how you can help their company; then when positions become available, they’ll remember you.

    Find out who is responsible for hiring at a company. Use LinkedIn to get an introduction from one of your connections. A referral will make it easier to gain your target’s attention. When you have the person’s name and contact details, email or call them and introduce yourself.

    Look closer to home

    Like the company you work for, but not your current job? Look for opportunities for a new role such as openings in other departments or offices. Employers often believe the most suitable candidates are people who already work for them. They prefer to employ an internal applicant over outside, unknown candidates.

    Keep trying to access the hidden job market

    Remember to be persistent. Accessing the hidden job market can take time and effort. When you find a company you’re interested in, keep pushing to get introduced to decision-makers. This will greatly improve your chances of getting your resume in front of them.

    Career coaching to access the hidden job market

    Career coaching can help you navigate all the potential options open to you, enabling you to find the right career and work out what jobs interest you and suit your experience and qualifications.If your role has been made redundant recently, your former employer may offer outplacement services which you can use to discuss possible career pathways and training options.