4 Ways to Tap Into the Invisible Job Market

Have you spent countless hours scouring job listing sites for open positions only to come up empty-handed?  Maybe you’ve met with recruiters, HR managers and career advisers, all to no avail.  In desperation, perhaps you even turned to the classifieds section of your local in-print newspaper, magazine or flyer but still haven’t managed to score that position of your dreams.

While all of the above experiences may have you feeling blue about your job prospects, never fear.  There’s still one more resource you probably haven’t thought to mine yet; the invisible job market.  While not quite as exciting as an invisible plane, this well of job listings certainly can have a heroic effect on your job search.  Many open positions often go unlisted in the typical public spheres and savvy candidates can take advantage in order to score the job of their dreams.  

But just how do you go about getting that word-of-mouth or referral based interview?  We’ve got a few tried and true strategies that turn you into an invisible job market pro in no time.

Network, Network, Network

When it comes down to brass tacks, the hidden market for jobs is all about who you know and being in the right place at the right time.  Connecting with those in the know is hard to do from the comforts of your couch.  Network with professionals in your chosen or desired career field and build a strong repertoire that stresses your knowledge, experience, and skills.  When you’re in the market, be sure to let your group know so that you can jump right into that hot, newly created position that hasn’t hit the public street just quite yet.

That Includes Social Networking Too

So maybe we were stretching the truth a bit when we said you couldn’t network at home in your PJ’s.  For busy professionals, social networking can be a much-needed tool in your job searching arsenal.  The trick here is to interact with people on the right platforms that enable you to show off your career skills and share ideas.  If you have a specific company in mind, be sure to “like” their various social media pages and see if you have any common connections internally.

As far as specific platforms go, LinkedIn continues to be the best for those looking to keep a more professional bent.  Facebook and Twitter are easily accessible by many but are increasingly considered more social and informal venues for sharing cute cat memes and pictures of friends and family.  Sending a cold invite on LinkedIn is also considered acceptable behavior while connecting with someone you don’t know on less formal sites may have your message getting filed immediately in the virtual recycle bin.

Cold Calling Isn’t Just for Salesmen

While you may think handing out resumes like business cards is an outdated endeavor, sending your resume to target company’s you’re interested in working for is one of the best ways to tap into the invisible job market.  Sure, a good portion of cover letters, employment applications or resume packets may make their way immediately into the discard pile, but many companies still perform at least an initial overview of these materials in case they spot a super qualified candidate.  

If you have a strong level of experience in your chosen field or other qualities that may immediately set your CV apart from the crowd, reaching out to an HR representative or hiring manager for a given company may be your ticket to an in-person interview.  Internal contacts will often keep information on quality candidates filed away for later meaning that even if there isn’t currently a position, you can potentially make the top of the list when one does come up in the future.  Another plus, there’s little to no downside in sending off a few well-crafted introductory emails or letters and a huge potential for gain.

Internships and Volunteer Work

One of the last, and best, ways to tap the fountain of the invisible job market is through internships, volunteer positions and other unpaid work for your target company.  Whether due to budget constraints, staffing, timing or other internal considerations companies often don’t have the okay to formally list a new position.  This leads to creating internships or volunteer openings in which candidates are invited to perform low-level tasks in exchange for experience and valuable face time.

To make the most of these foot-in-the-door opportunities, candidates should be prepared to treat the position no differently than if it was a paying gig, showing your prospective employer just how dedicated of a full-time employee you would be.  It’s not unheard of for valuable interns to be kept on for paying positions after their unpaid tenure is up if they’ve shown the company or manager just how much of an asset they could really be.

Have you had success with one of our suggested methods for utilizing the invisible job market or maybe have ideas we haven’t thought of?  Share your thoughts in the comments below about your go-to innovative approach for getting the ultimate leg up in landing a job that no one even knew existed.


Article Updated From the Original on September 14, 2017