Cracking the Code for Hidden Job Market Opportunities

The “hidden job market” is where recruiters are actively searching for candidates to fill job openings that are not publicly advertised. While most of these opportunities are filled internally through employee referrals, a significant number of them are not. And, that means you have a shot at them…so long as you know how to be searchable and found. Here are seven tips:

  1. Be crystal clear about the position, companies, and industry you’re targeting and optimize your resume and LinkedIn profile with the skills, education, and certifications you have that a prospective employer is looking for.
  2. Study the public job postings for the type of role you want to fill. Identify the keywords contained and use (not overuse) them in your LinkedIn profile and resume to attract recruiters and to be sure that the Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) is ranking you high and giving you a get out of the black hole of resumes free pass.
  3. Connect & network…a lot! 60% to 80% of hidden job opportunities become known through referrals from current employees.  The majority of candidates who make it to an interview in the hidden job market get there by connecting and networking.
  4. Join LinkedIn groups in your target field and be active in them. “Like” others’ posts and comment on them. Each action raises your visibility bar.
  5. Post articles on LinkedIn to be seen and to establish yourself as a thought leader. You don’t have to struggle with researching and writing original content. Get emails sent to you each day on topics relevant to your career target by creating Google Alerts. Post them with your 1-2 sentence spin and hashtag your messages on a specific topic to make them findable by others. Be visible enough in your industry or field to be contacted by a prospective employer.
  6. Be bold. Contact companies directly and inquire about unadvertised opportunities. Do your company research first on LinkedIn and see if there are key persons you might know or can make a connection with. Nurture these relationships. Poor social media connectors are always asking for something, like a job. Strong connectors lead with offering value, such as suggesting an article that might be of interest, offering a constructive thought, making a new resource known, and the like. Help others. It is often reciprocated. Build relationships.
  7. Search LinkedIn for recruiters who service your career niche. Like employees at prospective companies, they are gatekeepers to the hidden job market.

Garrison Leykam has had a highly-successful corporate leadership career in businesses ranging from $2.5M to $34.7B with 25+ years of experience driving business performance, enhancing corporate valuation, and delivering superior ROI. He has a PhD in Marketing, an MA in Psychology, and is a Certified Business Coach (Expert Level), Forbes Contributor, Certified Professional Career Coach (CPCC), Certified Professional Résumé Writer (CPRW), Certified Employment Interview Professional (CEIP), and Certified Life Coach.

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