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10 Strategies for Finding Jobs in the Hidden Market

Responding to advertised job postings serves as a great starting point for your daily job search, yet you may find yourself unemployed for longer than expected if this is your only strategy. The task of looking for work can be daunting and, although there are often numerous positions online, it remains true that the vast majority of jobs are not advertised. You can potentially be competing with hundreds of other candidates in an online format so having a strategy for accessing unadvertised opportunities is crucial. This begs the question “How does one tap into the hidden job market?” While it can sometimes seem like searching for a needle in a haystack, there are many strategies that can put you in place to be in control of your job search.

1) Identify your target industry, tailor your resume accordingly, target specific employers, and research them online.

2) Follow your target employers on various social media platforms to see what is happening in the industry. Like, Share and/or Comment on the articles that resonate with you. Attend any community events or job fairs they are involved with.

3) Monitor the Careers section of various company websites. Set alerts so that you are kept in the loop when there is a demand for new hires.

4) Utilize everyday interactions with others as a natural networking opportunity. Create a networking business card to utilize for daily interactions and social events, where a resume may not be appropriate. Highlight your most dominant skills and include your LinkedIn URL code for easy reference.

5) Target existing network including friends, family, former colleagues / supervisors / instructors. Employers reach out to their network to fill job postings often before advertising so it makes sense for you to look for work in the same manner.

6) Access the Scott’s Directory when researching local companies to access an in depth company profile such as company history, annual sales revenue, number of employees, and accessibility by local transit.

7) Keep in contact with your references, including updating them on recent schooling or skills developed. If your network is limited, consider volunteerism or an unpaid internship to increase your community contacts and maintain current skill sets.

8) Utilize the online Community Directory in your area for targeting the type of client group or organization you would like to work for, finding out more about their programs and services they provide, and accessing company websites to search for job opportunities. In the Peterborough and surrounding area, is a great resource for accessing both community agencies and volunteer opportunities.

9) Develop a social media strategy for LinkedIn, including targeting current and prospective contacts to meet for coffee. Face to face networking can be very powerful and the opportunity to conduct informational interviews sheds more light on industry news and future job prospects. If you are a recent graduate or career changer, this is a helpful way to increase your contacts and industry specific knowledge at the same time.

10) Challenge yourself to conduct cold calls. The assumption that ALL employers expect you to apply online is simply not true. In fact, in some communities, small and medium size employers hire more employees than larger corporations.

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