So, you’re looking for your next job, maybe even your first job. You’ve been keeping an eye on job boards, and you’ve signed up for job alerts for the kinds of jobs you are interested in. But what can be done to broaden your horizon of opportunity? Well, you’ll be pleased to find out that there are other ways to find a job besides online searching!
Did you know that while most candidates apply for jobs on either a job board or an employer’s own careers page, 50% of those asked in a survey by Jobvite found out about jobs through friends, and 37% through professional networks?
What we’re referring to here, is the hidden job market. ‘Hidden’ jobs are any jobs that aren’t advertised online. By not posting jobs online, companies are able to save money. This way of recruiting also helps companies to find candidates through practices like networking and referrals, rather than online applications. Candidate sourcing through these more personable methods means that recruiters have a lot more control over the kinds of people applying for their job vacancies. For example, a candidate put forward by a current employee is more likely to have a good understanding of the job role and responsibilities, as well as the company itself.
You should now be asking yourself: "How can I get involved in this hidden job market?"
The secret to making yourself known within these mysterious employment circles is simply to start networking with people in the industry you want to go into. If you make yourself known to employers and make a good impression, they will remember you when the time comes for them to hire someone new. Networking can come in many different ways. It could be as simple as making a LinkedIn account and connecting with people in your industry, or even just getting in touch with friends who work in similar areas, or know people who do.
You never know who might surprise you by helping you to get your foot in the door. It could be an old schoolteacher or a university course-mate. As soon as you start talking to people about your career goals, other people will be keen to share their experience and ideas.
Another huge part of networking in general is confidence, and a way to improve your confidence is to get yourself prepared for encounters with industry professionals. Now is your time to start practising your elevator pitch, so that you can speak with clarity and maturity about your career aspirations, when the time comes for you to sell yourself. If you haven’t heard of an elevator pitch, it’s quite simple really. Imagine you are in a lift with your dream future employer. You have maybe half a minute to make an impression on them before it’s time to get out of the lift. How would you pitch yourself to this stranger in order to make them want to hire you?
An elevator pitch is all about persuasion. In 30 seconds you need to explain: who you are, what you do, what you want to be doing, and what you need from the person standing in front of you. This last stage is known as a call to action, and could be anything from exchanging phone numbers or arranging to visit their offices.
The trick to making the most out of the hidden job market is to combine two stages. Firstly, you need to know where the opportunities are, and who to speak to in order to get your hands on those opportunities. The second is to have something prepared for once you are stood in front of that employer. You need to make the most of the chances you are given, otherwise there was no point wasting all that time seeking out the opportunity to begin with!