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Debunking the Myth of the Hidden Job Market

If you search online for “hidden job market,” you will find dozens of articles. The term itself creates an image of a quest that even Indiana Jones could not complete. The hidden job market is a myth. The job market is right there in the open. There are no secret passages or perplexing clues. Even in a highly-competitive environment like NYC, you have an all-access pass. Simply follow this guide to source unadvertised job opportunities.

Hidden Job Market (Photo: iStockphoto)

Networking is King
Most hiring managers prefer to find candidates recommended by employees and associates in their professional networks. It is a faster, more efficient way to source viable candidates. The best way to get in the door at your target employer is through real world and online networking. There’s no secret. If you want to find a reliable dog walker, you’ll likely trust your friend’s recommendation over an advertisement. Leverage your network, including colleagues, friends, fellow alumni and family to learn about future job openings and to get your foot in the door.

Birds of a Feather
If you want to get the scoop on what is happening in your field, join industry-specific and occupation-specific professional associations. Engage with fellow professionals online and in the real world. Association membership is a great way to track market changes and job opportunities.

Creating a List of Companies to Target
In this age, finding new target companies is so easy that you can’t afford not to research potential new employers on a daily or weekly basis. Use your favorite search engine to create a list of target employers in your industry. For example, you may try these search words: “Electronics manufacturers New York City.” If a certain employer has attracted your interest, try this search term, “Baker, Burns, and Gomez, LLP New York.” There are numerous online tools that can produce leads in a matter of minutes.

Don’t rely solely on advertised job postings. Get the complete picture of the job market by networking, participating in professional groups, and using Web-based company research tools. Jobs that remain hidden to other job seekers will be clearly visible to you.

Debra Wheatman is a certified writer and career coach who has guided the professional development of thousands of clients globally. She is reachable at

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