10 Jan 2021

The Hidden Jobs Market - An unconventional approach to your next job

By Paddy O' Leary

Studies philosophy at Trinity College Dublin.

His favourite music is the inside of a bookshop.

Email: connect@paddyoleary.com

Have you tapped into the hidden jobs market? Statistics show that the majority of jobs are not advertised. That’s worth repeating. All of the jobs advertised make up only a small proportion of total opportunities out there. A natural next question is, but why are these jobs not advertised? Well often companies already have a bank of potential candidates that have applied without advertisements.

Another huge proportion of jobs are filled through employee referrals. This relates back to trust mentioned in an earlier article. Finally companies often directly target employees through LinkedIn or social media. Ok says you, I see your point but I’m not yet convinced to put in all that extra effort. Well then, let me bring out the big boys...

There is a fundamental difference of character in this active approach of contacting companies rather than waiting for them to advertise positions. It’s all well and good including key character traits like proactive on your CV. It’s another thing entirely to demonstrate these traits from the get-go in your very first interaction with your potential new company. This sends a clear message to them that you are a proactive individual, ready and willing to take the reigns of your life. You’re not sitting back waiting for life to happen to you but instead going out there and making life happen.

More importantly than how you’ll be perceived by employers is how you will change how you feel about yourself. Our self-image is built largely through our actions. If we build a habit of going to the gym regularly we begin to think of ourselves as ‘somebody who goes to the gym or a disciplined/healthy/fit/active person’. This perception has the potential to spread into other areas of our life and can have real impact on how we live in those other situations. By thinking for ourselves about our own values first, and then going out and finding a company or field that fits who we are, we are affirming our own inherent worth as an individual.

This is a way for us to take back our power. It can be easy to feel like a small cog in a massive often multinational machine of a company. But the truth is each of us have valuable skills, character traits and strengths to offer. It’s time to reframe the inward dialogue and start seeing how lucky most companies would be to have us as part of their team. With that all in mind, how can we get a piece of that hidden jobs market pie?

Put simply we need to let the companies know about us before they even know they need us. First we need to make the companies aware of us and then keep contact well before a job even arises. This might mean identifying the key person in your area of interest within the company. Send them an email telling them why you are interested in the company, how you think you are a good fit and most importantly, what you can contribute. Follow up with a phone call after two weeks to keep cultivating that relationship. This makes sure we’re in their bank of potential candidates when they start the recruitment process as soon as a position becomes available.

Secondly, we should definitely make sure we are included in any of our friends' referrals. To make sure this happens, we need to make an ask. Lastly, the onus is on us to have our LinkedIn profile tailored to the specific role or industry we want to pursue. It’s important to remember these are only some ways to go about it.

I’m sure you have plenty of ideas of your own. I’d be happy to hear of the creative ways you figured out yourself to build a direct relationship with companies. You can find my email above.

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