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Accessing the Hidden Job Market

Ask anyone how they do their job hunting, and the majority will say ‘online’. Most jobs attract well over 200 applicants, particularly in entry level jobs. One local retailer recently advertised 200 jobs, and received over 2,000 applications! With this amount of competition you need to look for more creative ways to find work.

Studies show that there are far more jobs which aren’t advertised, than those which are. Talking to many new workers, I often hear they got their job “through a mate”. By letting all those in your circle of influence know you are looking for work, they can keep an ear out for you, and if they see something come up on social media, or hear of a vacancy with their own employer, they will let you know.

With more companies posting job ads on social media, it’s worth joining your local community Facebook group to see what opportunities come up. You could even post that you are looking for work yourself, however please be careful and refrain from disclosing your age or personal situation. Just state that you are looking for work, the type of work you want, and the locations you can access.

Try researching company websites and sending an expression of interest. Even if they have no current vacancies, your details will be on file for when there is a job going.

Most local newspapers have a situations vacant column, and with many people not reading the local paper these days, there will be less competition for the jobs which are advertised.

Shop windows often have jobs advertised, so it’s worth a walk through your local shopping centre every few days to see what’s out there.

Conduct information interviews by contacting someone working in your preferred industry and asking them how they got the job, and if they could give you any suggestions as to how you too can land a job. Most people love to share information, and you aren’t asking for a job – just for information.

If you’ve been out of work for a while, try volunteering for a community organisation. It will give you a new network of people who might hear of paid work, plus the potential to gain a referee. It will also fill a gap on your resume, and show you to be someone who gives back to the community – something many employers like to see.

Top Tips for Searching the Hidden Job Market

  • Talk to people – The larger your network the better. Let others know you are looking for work.

  • Register with recruitment and labour hire agencies – This is free and can be a great way of getting a foot in the door.

  • Read the situations vacant column in local papers.

  • Send in an expression of interest to companies you would like to work for.

  • Post a profile on LinkedIn – There are heaps of jobs advertised there.

Trish Evans is a professional Career Adviser and CEO of Solution Focused Consulting. She can help with all your work related challenges – from resume and cover letter writing to interview coaching and career advice. Ph. 04087 32579 or visit


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