A few weeks ago I came across a discussion posted on a LinkedIn group about “the hidden job market.”  It seems there’s some confusion about the hidden job market.  Job seekers seem to think that recruiters are making it out as if they have the magic wand to the hidden job market.  I think recruiters sometimes make the hidden job market more than what it really is and mislead job seekers.

So what is the hidden job market?  In simple terms, the hidden job market is any position that isn’t advertised or posted anywhere.   There’s no magical wand to that and frankly, recruiters don’t always have access to these hidden job opportunities.

For example, a few months ago when I was in between recruiting projects, I walked into a Recruiting company down the road from me to see if they were hiring recruiters.  I asked to speak to the Recruiting Manager and ended up having a 20 minute interview with him.  It ended up that they did have a recruiting opportunity that was going to be available the first of the year, but it wasn’t advertised yet.  That is an example of the hidden job market, because there was an opportunity available that wasn’t advertised yet and I stumbled across it because I walked in from the street seeing if there were any opportunities.

Now you know one way to tap into the hidden job market.  Walking into companies you have an interest in, asking for a manager, and hand delivering your resume.  Not only could the company have an upcoming opportunity not advertised yet, but what if that day or a few days later, someone quits.  What if the manager decides to speak with you for a few minutes and decides to create a position for you.  Those are all considered the hidden job market.

Recruiters do get access to the hidden job market as well, that is one of the advantages of using recruiters during your job search.  Sometimes companies have confidential job openings and are unable to advertise them, so they turn to recruiters to assist them with filling the position.  Also, companies don’t want to be overwhelmed with job applications from job postings or they may not have the budget to advertise jobs where they need to.  Again, that is were recruiters become an asset to a company and that is how recruiters are able to tap into the hidden job market.

Don’t be misled about the hidden job market.  There isn’t a magical, hidden island somewhere filled with job openings, but there are a ton of hidden job opportunities out there, you just need to know how to find them.

Here are few examples of how you can tap into the hidden job market:
*  Working with recruiters and staffing agencies
*  Walking into companies and hand delivering your resume
*  Attending job fairs and networking events
*  Getting involved within your community and volunteering
*  Letting friends, family, and acquaintances know you are in the job market

Remember, the hidden job market is any position that is not advertised.  Take active steps in your job search to find those hidden opportunities.  You never know when something can become available and you end up being in the right place, at the right time.

Links for job seekers: JobSearchingStrategies.com, Pittsburgh’s Ultimate Career Connection, Job Search in the US, Job Search in Pittsburgh, Free Tips Newsletter, Need Job Search Help?