What is the Hidden Job Market?
It is how 80% of all positions are filled. Do you know that only 15% to 20% of the jobs open in your community at any given time are ever listed or advertised? This means that you will not find them listed in the newspaper, employment offices, job bulletins or any other employment listings.

Eighty to eightfive percent of the jobs are in what is termed "The Hidden Job Market." These positions are filled by or created for candidates who come to an employer's attention through employee recommendations, referrals, from trusted associates, recruiters, or direct contact with the candidate.

Only 15% to 20% of all jobs are advertised through classified ads, employer hotlines, job banks and large Internet recruitment sites like the ones listed across the page.

Where is the Hidden Job Market?
The Hidden Job Market is as close as your internet web browser, telephone, e-mail account or next professional association meeting. Your contacts and those you meet through your contacts can help you learn about positions, projects or needs that will not be formally announced. Employers are constantly on the lookout for suitable candidates to replace departing, retiring or inefficient workers, to work on new projects or to add expertise in a particular area.

Calling employers without a referral, or a connection, no matter how slight, is known as a "cold" call. Cold calls may result in interviews but be prepared for lots of rejections along the way. Networking, using referrals as an introduction, is less stressful and can often be more productive.

Successful Hidden Job Market candidates are able to connect with the employer's network.
Does this mean the employer knows them? Not necessarily. But the candidate comes "pre-recommended" by someone the employer trusts. Networking, using your contacts to connect with the employer's contacts, is the key to the Hidden Job Market. The most important Hidden Job Market information will come from your network.

80% of jobs are obtained this way.

  • Ask friends, acquaintances, neighbors, classmates, previous employers, relatives and previous co-workers for names of employers you can talk to about job leads.
  • Apply at your city, county, state and federal personnel offices. Call back every two weeks and ask for current job openings. Utilize our "Employment" page for links to public and private sector vacancy announcements.
  • Go to your local community college career development center and ask a counselor there to give you ideas of companies you can talk to. Stay in contact with this counselor for future reference.
  • Check with your Chamber of Commerce for a listing of the major employers in your area.
  • Whenever you are driving in your car, write down the names of companies that you pass. Call them or stop in and ask about employment opportunities.
  • Go to the public library and ask the reference librarian to help you research companies or organizations in a particular industry or field.
  • Check the placement bulletins at your local community college. They regularly post part time and full time vacancy announcements for all levels of education and experiences.
  • Review the yellow pages of your phone book and list the names and phone numbers of companies to call or stop by.
  • For each contact you make, try to get at least one other lead of a person or place to contact whether there is an actual lob opening or not.
  • Depending on the industry, call or stop by to talk to someone who is doing a job that you would like to do or is working for a company you would like to work for. Ask for specific advice and names of who to contact regarding employment opportunities.
  • Take an evening course in the job area that interests you and enlist the help of your instructor, other students or the facilities placement office.

Try to arrange an interview for full time or part time work with the employer.

  • When you call for an appointment on the phone, you must realize that employers do not hire people over the phone, but will be more likely to hire you if they see and talk to you in person. Asking for an interview gives you immediate information that an employer is either interested in you or is presently hiring. If the employer is willing to talk to you, ask what time is most convenient.
  • When you ask for an interview, be sure to say that you are interested in full or part time possibilities with the employer. Often when an employer hires an individual on a part time basis, this position can turn into a full time one if the employer likes your work.
  • If the employer says there are no positions available, ask to set up an interview any way in case something comes up in the future.
  • The reason for pursuing the interview is that by getting an interview and personally impressing the employer, he/she will be more likely to hire you, either now or in the future.
  • If you are unable to schedule an interview, ask for any leads to other jobs in the area.

  • This is extremely important and you must not forget to ask this question of every employer who does not give you an interview. Chances are that the employer may know other employers who have openings now or in the near future. This is why it is so important to speak pleasantly to the employer, dress in a manner that is overly acceptable to him/her and allow them to get to know you as much as the situation allows. If the employer likes you, he/she will refer you to others. If you do get leads, try to get the employers name, place of business and phone number if possible. For example, Do you know of anyone else I might talk to in other companies who might be hiring? Thank you?"
  • When you receive job leads from a prospective employer, ask if you can mention their name when calling the lead.

  • The reason for getting this referral is that employers are more likely to grant you an interview if someone they have heard of or know of has recommended you call them. For example, "Would it be all right if I said you suggested that I call?"
  • If you do not receive any leads, ask if you can check back with that employer.

  • This question has two purposes: First, it could indicate to the employer your sincere interest in finding a job. Second, you may, indeed get the job if you called when a position did arise with that employer. For example, "Would you mind if I check back with you from time to time in case a position becomes available?"