The Hidden Job Market: It's Real, It's Big, And You Can Tap It

man searching woods with a metal detectorBy Heather Huhman

Job seekers are struggling to find positions because so many job openings are never even advertised online. The "hidden job market" is very real, and it's causing frustration among job seekers. You can find these jobs by determining what a company needs.

Here are five ways to uncover those hidden job openings:

1. Target the company. Most companies now have internal job boards where they post all job openings. Determine a list of companies you want to work for, find their job boards, and apply directly. This is the most direct way to find job openings in a specific company. A great way to stay on top of these job openings is to add their job board to your RSS reader. When new jobs are posted, you'll know right away.

2. Talk to your personal network. This is the most talked about method, but it would be wrong not to mention it. Use the connections in your professional network. Get a personal reference from someone who knows about a job opportunity at their company. Your professional network can also help you find someone who knows someone, who knows someone else, who knows about a job opening.

More: The Hidden Job Market Is Even Bigger Than You Think

3. Build your social network. Find relevant people at your favorite companies to connect with you on LinkedIn. Join the same industry groups and network there, or ask friends to introduce you. Once you're connected, show them your value by referring them to interesting articles and writing blog posts about the industry. Eventually when you see a job opening, ask them about it.

4. Be bold. Reach out to managers at a company you're interested in. Find out who's in charge of the department and introduce yourself. Even if there aren't any jobs available at the moment, try to set up an informational interview. Let them know you want to learn more about what their team does. This might not lead to a job right away, but they might think of you for the next job opening.

5. Create a new job. Stand out. Once you've connected with someone in the company, provide a solution to a problem that they didn't even know they had. This might lead to the creation of new jobs. Since you came up with the idea, they might take you on board to set your plan into action. They'll skip the job opening altogether because you filled their need.

Are you looking for a job? Start your job search here.

The Hidden Job Market Is Alive and Well

Don't Miss: Companies Hiring Now

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Clark Hayes

In my experience, responding to posts on a company's job board yields good results when you know someone at the company that you include in your references or who can contact the hiring manager for you. Other times it just seems like the application goes into a black hole.

I like point #4 much better. A little boldness goes a long way these days to help you stand out. Nice article, short and sweet.

Clark Hayes - founder of

June 10 2013 at 6:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Debra Feldman, JobWhiz: There's another point that should be included on this list: before you need to find a new job, start reaching out to make new contacts and refresh your existing connections to get on hiring authorities' radar screens even before an opening is posted. Let your contacts know that you would like to have informational meetings with the decision makers over specific functions. Cold call or email the appropriate contact at target employers and ask for career advice. If the right hiring decision makers know you before they have an open position, they may contact you to determine your level of interest or to ask you for a recommendation. While an inside contact can help you get to the top of a resume pile, having an early lead may mean that you beat the competition by being the first choice candidate from the very beginning of the recruiting process.

May 09 2013 at 8:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

up to I looked at the check which said $5441, I have faith that my father in law had been actualy bringing in money part time from there labtop.. there great aunt has done this 4 less than 15 months and as of now cleared the loans on there mini mansion and purchased a great new McLaren F1. this is where I went,

May 09 2013 at 2:28 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Oh so this is where the "hidden" job market is huh? Hahahahaha. I know many people who have been going into businesses applying jobs that still dont exist unless they are willing to work FF. Who wrote this piece of genius? Hahahahahaha. Thank God I have a job because Id to be at the mercy of "reporters" like this on how to find one.

May 09 2013 at 12:30 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Trisha's comment
Terry Ellis

You are so right. I mean, take the first action she mentioned, Find Their Job Boards. Will someone tell me how you find job boards inside a company and every company I worked for, the job board was for current employees only. I am unemployed and this article was a waste of my time.

May 09 2013 at 12:44 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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