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Hidden Job Market

February 28, 2014 by Curtin CEL Team

Hidden Job Market

It’s estimated that up to 70% of jobs available in the workforce, are never advertised. This means that if you rely only on advertised jobs to find work, you’ve significantly impeded your chances. One of the best ways to improve your employment chances is to access the ‘hidden job market.’

How to find unadvertised jobs

It’s kind of like getting to Narnia… Once you know how, it’s easy… Follow our four step strategy to tap into the hidden job market.

Step 1: Identify companies that interest you

Look at advertised jobs that interest you, and then think of other companies that might offer similar work. You could focus on companies that operate in your industry. You could also research trends in the labour market, so that you can focus on growth areas or companies expanding.

Where to find information:

  • Networking & Information Interviews
  • Curtin Careers & Employment Centre – check out the ‘Occ Book’ for your field
  • Company Websites
  • Graduate Publications (such as Graduate Opportunities)
  • Newspapers & Industry Related Publications
  • Professional Associations
  • Industry Directories
  • Labour Market Surveys

Step 2: Make a short-list

You’ll probably have a long list of industries or companies who could be potential employers. The next step is to select the companies that best match your interests, skills and values and make a short-list of companies to target. Focusing on a few companies is more effective than targeting too many. Consider how your skills and values align with the company’s; how factors such as location and travel, work hours and company culture impact your suitability; what factors are most important to you – salary, opportunity for promotion, training, potential for travel. Keeping in mind all of these factors, make an informed decision about which companies best match your needs and priorities.

Step 3: Additional research

Now that you’ve picked your favourites, the next step is to do some more detailed research. For example:

  • What does the company do and how is it structured?
  • Does it have overseas branches?
  • What is the culture of the Company?
  • How big is it (ie. opportunities for career development via overseas assignments)?
  • What are its future prospects? Is it tendering for major contracts or attracting new clients?
  • Does it offer a graduate program? If so, how is it structured?
  • What sort of career path might a graduate employee expect?

You can use many of the resources listed in Step 1 to aid your research. It is valuable to conduct information interviews to gather more detailed information about specific jobs or occupations that interest you. Make sure the company knows that you are seeking information rather than asking about jobs. This will take the pressure off the company to ‘give you a job’, and allow them to help you.

Step 4: Approach your target companies

Once you’ve completed this research, you’re now ready to approach these companies about applying for a job. Consider how you want to do this – a tailored job application package or a less formal introduction. The nature of the business and your  personal preference and confidence is likely to inform this decision. Visit Job Applications for information on enhancing your job application strategy.

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