January may be one of the best times of year to look for a new job. But, are you looking in the right places?

Most job seekers don’t land their dream job through traditional channels. When applying on a job site, you have to compete against a hoard of other candidates. With so much competition, it’s possible for even the most qualified candidates not to get an interview.

Leveraging your network and finding unadvertised positions uncovers many promising opportunities. Sometimes, the hidden job market can be more profitable than applying through traditional means.

So, what exactly is the hidden job market?

The hidden job market is all the opportunities NOT posted on job boards or advertised with recruiters. You won’t find hidden jobs on Change Recruitment, Indeed, S1 or CV-Library. You’ll need to be a bit more creative and resourceful to secure hidden positions.

Finding hidden jobs may take more work, but leveraging the hidden job market can actually be more effective. Nearly 60% of all jobs are secured via referrals and networking than traditional applications. Plus, applying for an unadvertised job means there’ll be less competition.

How to Find Hidden Jobs

Sounds great, but unsure how to get started? Don’t worry we’ve got insider tips and tricks on how to crack the hidden job market.

It’s Not What You Know. It’s Who You Know

As the old saying goes “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. Networking can open a world of opportunities and you’re more likely to get hired following a personal recommendation than a boring job application. Use these tips to build your network and find hidden jobs.

Talk to family & friends. Begin with your current network. Who do you already know that works in the industry? Grab a coffee with an old boss or long-lost cousin. Even if you don’t know someone that works directly in the industry, someone you know may know someone who does.

Formal Networking Events. Formal networking events allow you to meet like-minded people living within your local area and working in your industry. Eventbrite can be a great way to find and sign-up for upcoming events.

Network Digitally. With the power of LinkedIn and Facebook, you can now network without leaving the comforts of your home. Try joining a LinkedIn or Facebook group within your industry and chatting with other professionals. You might make new connections, get insight into recent industry developments, or even find unadvertised job opportunities.

Say Yes. Open yourself to more casual networking opportunities like attending the football game with your old coworker, weddings or even backyard barbeques. Informal networking can make it easier to build your network as people are a bit more relaxed and willing to talk about work. Just don’t ask too many serious, heavy questions!

Explore Opportunities at Your Company

Your company may have unadvertised opportunities available. If you’re interested in staying with your current company, ask your manager or boss about any chances for growth. You might even be able to find a new position in a different department, just keep your enquiries about this one on the down-low.

Identify Dream Companies

As part of cracking the hidden job market, you’ll want to make a list of companies where you’d love to work. Once you’ve identified a handful of companies, you can follow them on LinkedIn, set-up a Google alert for relevant company news or even send an email to inquire about job opportunities. Showing an interest in their company and speaking with people that work there will put you on their radar should something open up.

Leveraging LinkedIn & Social Media

Social media platforms like LinkedIn make it easy to connect with the right people and stay up-to-date on company job openings and news. Some companies don’t bother to post their job openings on Indeed or Change Recruitment as they know they have enough followers to source applicants directly. As a hopeful applicant, you’ll want to make sure your profile is accurate and reflects the best version of yourself and experience.

We also recommend:

  • Following interesting companies
  • Interacting with companies’ posts
  • Updating your profile
  • Turning on job seeking alerts (LinkedIn allows you to do this without alerting your current company)
  • Joining industry groups

Your LinkedIn Profile

Recruiters use LinkedIn to connect directly with potential applicants and headhunt candidates. As such, it’s incredibly important to update and maintain your LinkedIn profile. You want it to reflect the latest info on your experience and skills. Including a professional summary, recommendations from previous managers and coworkers, and links to your portfolio or website can also help sell you as the perfect job candidate.

You can also create content on LinkedIn to show off your expertise. For example, try writing a blog post on digital marketing strategies or article on tax recommendations for independent contractors. Obviously, the content you create should relate to your job aspirations.

Active LinkedIn members are also more likely to appear in recruiters’ search results.

Send a Cold-Email

So you’ve identified a few companies where’d you like to work. Why not send them an email and introduce yourself? High-ranking professionals tend to be time-poor so make sure to keep your email short and sweet.

Like a cover letter, your email should include information about your experiences as well as why you think you’d be a great fit for the company. Writing experts recommend asking a question or two as this can increase your chances of getting a response. Also, make sure to include your CV and link to your LinkedIn profile and end with a request to ‘discuss further over a cup of coffee’.

Sending a speculative email shows that you’re interested in the company and helps you make connections with people who already work there.

Undertake Short-Term, Temporary Positions

As most recruiters will tell you, freelance, temp, part-time or contractual positions often lead to permanent ones. Even if this doesn’t happen, short-term or temporary positions can help you further build your network, fill gaps in your CV, get your foot in the door and increase your experience.

Search for Temporary Roles at Change Recruitment

We’re currently hiring for a number of temporary or contractual roles. You can search our available job openings here or speak to one of our dedicated recruitment consultants to find out about upcoming opportunities.

Other Relevant Blogs

Five Life Hacks for Finding Your Dream Job

Sick of Mondays? Our blog provides expert tips and tricks to discovering and securing your dream job -- a must-read for anyone who dreads Monday mornings.

Why Saying Yes to a Temporary Role Makes Sense

Discover the benefits of agreeing to a temporary role and how these positions can open new unadvertised opportunities.

The Ultimate Guide to Finding Your Next Role Through Social Media

Crack the hidden job market by finding your next role on social media. Our blog article will provide recommendations on best practices and the most effective methods.