Alex Freund's 5 Tips to Help You Penetrate the Hidden Job Market

This articles gives insight on how to crack the hidden job market. More than 75 percent of jobs are filled before they are advertised so job seekers must network.

The rules of finding a job have changed drastically in recent years as many job seekers are finding out. The way you found your job five years ago is very different to the current job market. There is much more reliance on social media sites such as LinkedIn, Google + and Twitter to find and network with those in position to hire. This requires that job applicants understand etiquette when connecting online. The sheer numbers of people looking for work has complicated things further and put the power with companies and not job seekers.

Penetrating the hidden job market has become even more important due to the aforementioned facts especially for those out of work for six month or more. Alex Freund presentation on finding these unpublicized jobs gave participants new insights and ideas into doing this.


#1 Network with smaller companies.

Everyone wants to work for a large company for numerous reasons including better pay and better benefits but in a weakened economy smaller companies hire more.  Large firms may be top heavy and use layoff to restructure and become leaner. Applicants may see job opportunities posted at larger companies that will be given to internal candidates. This can be misleading to candidate who apply thinking they have a shot a job when in reality they are listed to fulfill legal guidelines.

Smaller companies may not offer all the benefits that larger can but they may be understaffed and need to hire. Candidates may also find the progression to higher-level titles move faster.

#2 Take on temp and short-term assignments.

Some applicants feel that short term assignments especially those lasting six month or less is a waste of time. Nothing can be further from the truth.  Approximately 13.5 percent of jobs are contigent meaning they are part-time, temporary or contract. Companies do this because they often want to test out a candidate to see if they will fit with the corporate culture and people they are working with.

These positions often can turn into full time positions. Applicants on these contingent assignments should demonstrate their ability to make positive contributions to the company. This is the time to really show what you can do. These assignments may lead to fulltime or you may gain valuable connections and references that can help you get into other companies.

#3 Learn how to talk with people in person and online

Most jobs are not published because they are filled via referrals.  This is not the time to be shy about letting people know that you are looking for a job. Attending various networking groups, career events and job fairs are good ways to build up your contacts list.

Many colleges have career centers that can be accessed by alumni. Reaching out to alumni that graduated from the same school is a great way to build contacts.  Send out emails asking for information and follow-up with a phone call. People want to be helpful and love talking about themselves.

#4 Put more time into your job search.

Most applicants only dedicate 6-10 hours a week to their job search.  The successful job candidate spends about 40 hours a week searching for work. This includes attending career fairs, networking meetings and job programs, applying for positions online, networking online and volunteers. Applicants can also take advantage of classes given by the Department of Labor, public libraries and career networking groups to improve their skills.

It takes several contacts in a company to get positions. Many job seekers become discouraged if one person says no. There are other people at a company that could be your advocates so don’t give up if one person says no.

#5 Generate more job leads.

Applicants must attend different job networking events and careers fairs so that they can meet an network with other people, The landingexpert.com lists most of the networking clubs and events in the tri-state area.  Go to different groups and locations to find a group that fits your needs.

Other ways to generate leads include

Checking out listing in the newspapers and online to find out that is hiring.

Job fairs

Search engine searches

Religious organizations

Alumni Groups/College Career Centers

Clubs, (Sororities and Fraternities)

Volunteer Organizations

Former Employees/Colleagues

Family and Friends


#Bonus Tip
Ignore that little voice in your head that says discouraging things.

Applicants may be their own worse enemy believing the negative thoughts in their minds.  You must believe in yourself and your abilities. The more positive you are feel and act the more likely others will want to help you with your job search.

You may feel like no one will help you and that may be confirmed if the first you speak to isn’t helpful. However you must keep going  and not give up. Eventually you will find a job and that process will go much faster if you look for jobs in the hidden job market.


Alex Freund is a career coach who volunteers his time to speak with various groups sharing  tips on how to find a job. His website landingexpert.com features tips, resources and a  landing expect list that providing 70 plus pages of  information on where career groups meet in the tri-state area.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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