3 Surprising Ways to Access the Hidden Job Market

© Monkey Business - Fotolia.com
© Monkey Business – Fotolia.com

Close to 80% of available jobs in Canada are hidden, meaning they are not posted to job boards or advertised in any way. This fact requires you to use your ingenuity and tenacity to go on the hunt and find your next challenge.

There are many ways you can be proactive and put yourself in the right place at the right time to discover these unseen opportunities. Here are three that may surprise you:

  1. Volunteering

Have you ever volunteered at your local hospital? Do you think this could advance your career? It absolutely can – just ask two of my clients who both volunteered and ended up generating leads for interviews that secured senior-level jobs.

In one case, my client pushed the wheelchair of a man recovering from hip surgery, transporting him between his ward and the X-ray department. They engaged in conversation, and my client caught the interest of this man who would become his boss. That led to an interview that would secure a job offer as a senior vice-president. How cool is that?

Volunteering takes many forms and brings tremendous value, not only to the community, but also to you. On a resume, volunteering differentiates you from those who don’t embrace this type of community involvement.

Through volunteering you will get to meet many people who could influence your career by helping market you to their colleagues, friends and family.

  1. Personal events and impromptu conversations

Now consider your own network of colleagues, friends and family, and the opportunities you may have to interact with them at community events, sporting events, concerts, or classes you take for your hobbies and personal interests.

It can be quite easy to open up a conversation with the person sitting next to you, a captive audience as it were. Each person has their own Rolodex of contacts, and most are willing to share ideas and leads.

I’ve personally found that even a lineup at the grocery store can generate leads and clients, just by being friendly and chatting with the people behind me and ahead of me. As a bonus, it helps us all pass the time more pleasantly while we wait.

  1. Informational interviews

Informational interviews are an important job search tool, especially to uncover hidden jobs. The basic technique is to use social media platforms, especially LinkedIn, to uncover a person at your targeted potential employer. Ask for a 5-minute, 10-minute or 20-minute informational interview either during work or after work hours.

Most people these days are receptive to networking, because they know that they could enter their next career transition at any time. What goes around, comes around.

So before wasting hours sitting in front of your computer looking at the same job boards and listings as everyone else, use these three strategies to tap into the hidden job market.

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