Uncovering the hidden job market: How to find and win your next role

Navigating the Hidden Job Market

The way you seek and find that ideal job now, particularly post-pandemic in Australia, has totally changed. Recruiters and employers have become far more creative in the ways they seek and identify emerging talent and fill an employment vacancy. Here, we share six creative tips to help you find a job utilising the “hidden job market”.

What you need to understand is that many organisations are now far more focused on protecting their cashflow and hence have adopted new strategies when hiring staff. Whilst this is far from a new phenomenon, more and more recruiters and companies have begun to further tap into their networks and various online resources when seeking to expand their teams.

The hidden job market is the employment market that is never advertised or made public. It is growing at a rapid rate as businesses look for better and more cost-efficient ways to grow. It is forecasted to currently represent up to 90% of employment opportunities in some industries and is even starting to grow in more traditional roles.

Here we explore 6 ways to help you find a job in Victoria through understanding and using the hidden job market:

(1) LinkedIn

Whilst LinkedIn emerged as a professional networking platform, until recently it has been seen by many as the poor relation to sites like Seek and other job networks when it came to looking for a job. However, the tide has certainly turned over recent years as businesses have become more aware of the importance of using LinkedIn to seek and find talent. The opportunity to reach out directly with a “potential candidate” means recruiters and business leaders can now proactively reach out, under the radar, and directly speak to people they wish to target. Astute recruiters and headhunters are using stealth tactics to make appointments with people they want as part of their business.

One key point to remember is that your LinkedIn profile can be the difference in being “headhunted” by an employer or just being lost in the crowd. To stand out in the hidden job market you must have a knockout LinkedIn profile that shows a potential employer the value you add to a business. You can work with us at Alpha Resumes to help you with this critical task and ensure that your profile will give you that added advantage.

(2) Networking Groups

These have traditionally been seen as more of a B2B opportunity – that is businesses seeking to engage with new clients from other businesses. This thought process has significantly changed. By attending networking events and meeting people from similar backgrounds and proposing the benefits you can bring to a business, you may open up a job opportunity for yourself. If a full-time role is not available right away, it may even bring up an initial job opportunity for a small amount of work that could lead to full-time employment down the track, or valuable contacts for the future.

(3) Direct Messaging

You need a little bit of confidence here, but this can as great way to find a job in the hidden job market. Using the likes of LinkedIn or Messenger can open the door to an initial discussion that may bring an opportunity in either the immediate or short term. A brief message to an employer to ask for an initial 15-minute chat about what you can bring to an organisation is growing in popularity, particularly with the prevalence of “Zoom” style meetings over the last year or so. You do need to be somewhat strategic in this approach and ideally engage or build a level of rapport before openly asking for a catchup. You could always follow the person first or engage with some of their posts, particularly if they are quite active on LinkedIn.

(4) Social Media Platforms

Yes, even Facebook could a be a great way to find a job. Platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn now have numerous groups that focus entirely on job opportunities across Victoria. What many people are now doing in these groups is putting out their own “seeking work” opportunity with a full brief of their skill set and what type of job or position they are looking for.

Many employers and business owners follow these groups and use them as ways to identify a possible new employee. By doing so they are saving time and money from the traditional advertising path. If you are not participating in these groups, you could be missing out on opportunities. Such groups could be local community based, or even industry specific. There are also groups for business owners and consultants who may be seeking new contracts or projects from time to time. Be mindful of your Facebook profile however, and ensure your privacy settings are turned on.

(5) Referrals or Introductions

Word of mouth has been around forever and can still be one of the best ways of finding a job through the hidden job market. Reaching out to someone you know who works for a particular organisation can be a great way of getting a foot in the door and can certainly increase your chance of being considered for future roles.

The opportunities to obtain referrals has never been easier for those seeking a new position. As mentioned in this article you now have the likes of LinkedIn and Facebook that you can utilise to obtain a referral. Whether it be directly through family, friends, business associates or open community groups you can now ask people if they know of any opportunities or may even be able to refer you to someone within a business you’d like to work for. If not, reach out to people at organisations you are interested in working for. A brief, polite message could go a long way.

(6) Cold Calling

Whilst many of us dread the idea, cold calling has long been an effective way of seeking out new opportunities. The way you go about doing this should be somewhat strategic. Rather than making dozens of calls each day, do some research and target just a few organisations that you’d really like to work for. Find out who the best person to contact is and take the opportunity to introduce yourself and follow up with an introduction letter and your resume immediately after.

Whether it’s a proactive call, or you have phoned after viewing a job ad, it is important to follow up promptly to thank the individual and also to reiterate your interest. This is where a well worded cover letter and professional resume will ensure you remain front of mind. The aim of both the phone call and the immediate follow up is to quickly gain some interest and get the recruiter or employer excited enough to set up a more formal catch up in the near term.

Closing Thoughts:

The opportunity to access the hidden job market in Victoria has never been more prevalent for job seekers. To give yourself the very best chance you need to think outside of the box, be brave and ensure your career documents are in great shape – that is, your resume, your cover letter and your LinkedIn profile. To overcome any fears, you could work with us throughout this process.

Alpha Resumes have been assisting clients in Melbourne and other parts of Australia for more than eight years. We offer expert assistance in professional resume writing, cover letter writing and developing branded and perfectly optimised LinkedIn profiles. We also offer personalised coaching and support services and empower all our clients with valuable insights into approaching their job search.

To learn more about how Alpha Resumes can help you stand out in your job search Contact Us today for a free initial discussion and resume review.

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