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Accessing the hidden job market

Thursday, December 29, 2011
Accessing the hidden job market. Image: Getty
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So how do you find a job that's hidden? It starts with knowing what it is you would like to do, then taking the initiative of contacting the places you would like to work and getting to know them personally. This is called building your personal job search network.

Job search networking is about making connections with people who can either give you information about potential job openings, or introduce you to others who have this information.

Networking shouldn't be limited to casual conversations with people you meet. It should be an active and strategic campaign to contact people and businesses for ideas, suggestions and information.

As you go about your networking, it's vital that your CV is up to date, easy to read and with your most recent and relevant career information. You should then decide who you would like to approach and then research as much as you can about their company.

There is absolutely nothing stopping you from approaching businesses or organisations that interest you to find out more about what they are looking for. Don't be afraid to ask for help. People are usually happy and flattered to help others if they can.

You have nothing to lose either by phoning or meeting with your contacts. If you don't make the connection, you won't know if there is good information or a job lead. If you do speak with them, you may be successful. At the very worst you'll feel a bit uncomfortable. But being prepared will make the discussions easier.

More often than not, you'll make an impression with your initiative and stick in their mind, which will help if and when a job opportunity does arise.

Of course, you should still look out for and apply for the jobs you see in the newspaper and online. Read the ads closely and you'll get an idea of the sorts of things employers are looking for, which can keep you one step ahead in your personal networking.

Keep in mind, though, that it can be a costly and time-consuming process for businesses and organisations to advertise, interview, research and decide on the right person for a new job.

However, if that business already knows someone who would be perfect for the job they have going, it's more likely they will offer the job to that person and save the time and money they would have spent on advertising. If that person is you, then congratulations! You will have just found a job in the hidden job market!

Recently, a young man who sought the assistance of Career Services and successfully found a position through the hidden job market told us that following the advice to approach companies himself was the turning point in his career. "It was the moment when I realised that I could go out and make my life happen, rather than waiting for it to happen to me," he said.

Article provided by Career Services. For more information on the various resources and tools available from Career Services to help you in your personal job search, visit the website or phone the advice line on 0800 222 733 to find out more.