In my time as a job hunter, I’ve taken the traditional job hunting route of looking for jobs postings and applying for the jobs available to me. I’ve also been in the position of being able to access the hidden job market. I’ve been given jobs not advertised, and been found by recruiters looking for my specific skillset. For me, it’s took much less energy and was much less stressful when the jobs came to me and I didn’t have to seek them out. Wouldn’t you like to know how you could access the hidden job market?

Traditional Job Hunting

Traditional job seeking process

Traditional job seeking process

The traditional job hunting process can be broken down into a process of 4 parts:

Find a job

Jobs can be posted anywhere. From the advert in the shop window to job notice boards in the workplace or online, employers tend to work the numbers and post job adverts in the place where the most people who would be in a position to apply would see the post. This part of the process relies on the job posting being seen, but doesn’t take into account the hidden job market

Apply for the job

The job advert usually indicates how the person should apply. It could be in person, via application form or via a resume. Either way, this is where you indicate that you’re interested in the job and where you introduce yourself to the employer. But if the job is hidden, then how do you apply?

Job Interview

In the traditional job hunting process, candidates are whittled down into a few people who are considered capable of doing the job. The aim is to exam 100 job applications and get down to 5-10 suitable candidates. To do this, the screening staff must actively look for reasons to move people to the “no” pile. This could be poor design, spelling mistakes, grammar or just sending out a generic application or resume that has nothing to do with the job being applied for.

Get the Job

The aim of the job interview is to simply fill the post, so whoever is successful at interview gets the job.

The Hidden Job Market

Many employers use this traditional model for recruitment, so it is still valid, however, there is a hidden job market, where jobs aren’t even advertised, so how do you access it? Well, this system is sometimes based on referrals, where staff are paid a fee to find someone to fill a post and sometimes based on recruiters actively seeking out candidates. In either case, they are looking for you, not the other way round, and the only way of accessing the hidden job market is through personal branding and networking.

Hacking the hidden job market, requires a different job hunting process:

Hacking the job seeking process

Hacking the hidden job market

The foundation of this process is your personal brand. Without a positive reputation, online and off, of working hard and getting the job done, then you won’t be able to progress in the process. Employers can, and do, check out Google and social media to see what is being said about a person. If there is something negative, then you’ll be out of the running immediately.

LinkedIn should be your social media channel of choice for your professional online personal brand. You can then build up your reputation, generating profile views that lead to invitations to connect. Those people who take the time to develop relationships with their connections start to convert those relationships from online connections to offline job champions. If as part of your job hunting strategy, you target people working for companies that use a referral process, or recruitment agent that specialises in providing employers with candidates with your skill profile, then you are moving towards hacking the job hunting process.

Next steps

If you’d like some help with your personal branding efforts, and optimising your LinkedIn profile, then why not book your free 30 minute mini-consultation with me. We can discuss where you are now and how I can help you get the job you want.

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