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Reach the Hidden Job Market: How to find the jobs

Hidden Job Market

If your job search is starting to feel like a walk through a dark forest, learn how to find the Hidden Job Market.

Are you feeling like your job search is leading you through a dense forest? Are the trees all beginning to look the same? You might be dealing with the Hidden Job Market.

The hidden job market isn’t quite as mysterious as it sounds. It just means that certain jobs have not been posted or advertised anywhere.  The challenging part of the hidden job market is that it constitutes as much as 80% (some sources are now saying 85%) of the jobs out there!

How do you go about finding those “hidden” jobs?


One way to find hidden jobs is to search on CareerCloud  (also available as a mobile app). CareerCloud compiles job leads from all types of media and categorizes them by industry and location. Their information comes from newspaper, online media and company press releases about company hiring announcements, news of company expansions, moves, and other changes. Theoretically, at least, these news items appear in the media before the job postings.

CareerCloud also highlights the newest leads. For example, today’s hot tip is: Capital Group is hiring 20+ people in Irvine, CA; San Antonio, TX , and Norfolk /Hampton Roads, VA.

Click on your state or industry, and you can also sign up to have job leads emailed to you.

The site also pulls in existing job postings from the job board aggregator Indeed.com.

Company Search

An even better way is to search for companies.  Why is it better? Most people like their jobs. If they choose to leave a company, it’s more likely because they are having trouble with their boss or the company culture rather than their actual job requirements.

If you leave a company that was a bad fit and search for another job, you may fall prey to the same problem, another company that is a bad fit.

Instead of searching for another job, search on Google (or another search engine you prefer) for a company that could be a good fit:

Enter your industry and the word “companies.” For example, when I enter “publishing companies,” I see a long list of book and magazine publishers. If I narrow it further by entering “sports magazine publishers,” I see a more specific list, including an entry for a directory that may be helpful.

Narrowing again, I enter bicycle magazine publishing and come up with a targeted list of publishers of magazines for whom I might want to write.

Another source for companies is the Employer Locator at America’s Career InfoNet.

Google Maps

My colleague Mary Elizabeth Bradford suggests a unique approach using Google Maps to find companies in your target geographic area and /or specialty. Here’s how:

  1. Visit Google Maps.
  2. Your local area will appear on the map automatically. If you want to search another area, type the city or state name into the search box that appears in the top left corner.
  3. Add a comma and your specialty. For example: Denver, CO, publishing.
  4. Look at the list that appears under the search box and on the map. Companies may appear in both places. To find out more about the companies that appear on the map only, type the company name into the search box.

Company Research

Once you know the names of several companies you might be interested in working for, research them using Google, Glassdoor and Linkedin.

Look for clues as to whether they are a good fit for you:

  • Do they treat their employees well?
  • Do they offer fair compensation?
  • With whom will you be working?
  • Do you enjoy that type of person?

Also, look long-term for further opportunities:

  • Is there a career path available for you?
  • Will you have to leave that company to advance in your career?
  • Is it a large or small company? Each offers different advantages.

Research each company, using Google to find the company’s Web site, press releases, news about the company, financial standings, and anything negative that might pop up.

When I Googled the name of a publishing company for a bicycling magazine along with the word “problems”, for example, I found the publisher was plagued with high turnover in 2012, according to Fortune magazine. If I were serious about considering this magazine as an employer, I would  be very interested in this article.

Finally, keep up on the news of your target companies by setting up Google Alerts on them. Fill in the company name and other keywords for each company you want to monitor. When those keywords pop up, you will receive an email alert.

Do you have a favorite trick for discovering more information about potential employers? We’d love to hear about them in the comment section below.

If you’re having trouble getting your job search off the ground, there are several areas that could be causing you problems. Rather than wait for your fortune to turn, email me at Jeri@WorkwriteResumes.com to set up a time to talk about what might be getting in your way. I have helped people from many industries and many career levels move on to a new position or career.




Photo credit: http://underclassrising.net

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