Tips on searching the ‘hidden job market’ and finding jobs before they’re listed

Posted at 2:31 PM, Jul 23, 2020

For the first time in roughly four months, weekly jobless claims in the U.S. have risen. The Department of Labor’s latest reports shows 1.4 million people filed new jobless claims, compared to 1.3 million people the week prior.

“People are overwhelmed by the news. They are overwhelmed when they see that a million extra people just filed for unemployment,” said Sarah Johnston, a job search strategist.

Johnston runs the company Briefcase Coach and specializes in helping people find work in this job market.

“The good news is my clients and I know from looking at LinkedIn’s update, people are getting jobs,” said Johnston.

Finding a job right now, with such high unemployment, is not easy. It is competitive but--as Johnston teaches in a course with LinkedIn-- if you search in the “hidden job market,” you’ll find better success.

“The hidden job market is all the jobs that are unadvertised online,” said Johnston.

These jobs may be unadvertised because an employer may be planning a promotion or expanding but hasn’t announced that yet. If you can get to know the hiring manager before new jobs post, you have a better chance of topping their list of candidates.

“Tip number one is to understand what your options are. You really need to know your target companies, who hires people like you for work that you want to do,” said Johnston.

She recommends creating a “target list” of the companies you want to work for and find out who are the hiring managers.

Then, move on to tip number two, which is seeing who in your existing network may know or have connections to those managers or someone in that list of companies.

“The final tip would be to not be afraid of being proactive in your job search and making contact or reaching out or getting an introduction to a hiring manager at your dream company or companies on your target list,” said Johnston. “It only takes one conversation to change the entire trajectory of your job search.”

Johnston’s in-depth course on navigating the hidden job market is available on LinkedIn. It is one of many courses being offered by job search companies to help millions of Americans find work again.