There’s not 1 but 3 Job Markets

I often get asked by new clients, “How is the job market?” My response begins with, “Which one of the three?” Knowing the differences is key to your job search.

Job Market #1, The Job Boards: This 20% of the job market is comprised of publicly advertised, mostly mass hire positions (fast food, hospitality, entry level sales, insurance, franchise ownership, you know the ones). The majority of job seekers believe that every job out there is on Indeed, Glassdoor, or Workopolis (all owned by Recruit Holdings Co.). Wrong. Most aren’t. Job boards get paid by every application submitted, not placements. The more people that apply, the better the job board fares financially. It would make no money if an early applicant got hired and the posting was removed. You not getting hired keeps the revenue pipeline going.

Job Market #2: External Recruiters: This 20% of the job market is made up of search firms and headhunters. The basic problem is that you are not their client. The hiring company is. That means they only care about their commission check for filling the role. Your career path and happiness are not a factor. But, if you’re the right candidate, expect the warm and fuzzy. Some jobs you’ll find on their websites don’t even exist. To stimulate business, phantom jobs are sometimes created to collect resumes so that recruiters can tell their clients that they’ve just had some  great (job specific) candidates come into their system and would they like to see them in the hopes of getting a job order.

Job Market #3: The Hidden Job Market: Door #3 is invisible as far as job postings go. But, the 60% of opportunities it represents (82%+ for many roles and industries when you eliminate mass hire positions) are where the job search  success is.  Networking and your social capital are the keys to unlocking this all important door.  Making a list of the top companies you’d ideally want to work for (whether or not they have a job posted that fits what you’re looking for), identifying the right person to get your resume and cover letter to, and connecting with  hiring decision makers are all the right reasons to use LinkedIn to its fullest networking capabilities. Having a searchable LinkedIn Profile geared to your next ideal career step can open this door wider than you can imagine. It may be tempting to flood the job boards with your resume but that’s the least effective approach to your job search success.


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