I am a witness to the reality that 60-70%+ of all jobs are not posted. As a personalized career advisor for college students and new grads, I routinely get calls from friends and colleagues asking if I can refer someone with a particular skill set.
This is also why we have our clients spend a significant amount of time reaching out to professionals at the companies and in the roles they think they want to pursue so they learn about the company culture, skills required, and activities performed before they ever apply for a job. Most importantly, our students learn what roles are best for them from the employer perspective, if they will be hiring, when, and who else they should connect with to move things forward.
Tips for tapping the hidden job market:
- Make a list of companies that you are interested in and use LinkedIn to identify and reach out to contacts that are currently in the role you want to explore
- Research alums that were in your sorority, fraternity, club or professional organizations as recent grads tend to be the most helpful (they remember how stressful the job search process really is!)
- Tap your neighbors and parent’s networks for contacts at companies you want to target
The advantages to this approach are many; you’re building relationships, practicing your informational interviewing skills, and learning a lot about what you do and don’t want to do in the process.
Isn’t this better use of your time than spending hours a day blindly applying to job postings online?