Developing Your Career


Three Tips for Uncovering Hidden Job Opportunities

By Lee Hecht Harrison on December 9, 2014

Many open positions are never published online. For job seekers this means relying solely on job boards will most likely result in a longer, more difficult search. Tapping into the “hidden” job market—jobs never published or advertised—should be a key strategy. Uncover opportunities by talking to people, doing your research and asking for referrals. Here are some tips:

  1. Start networking and talk to people. Start networking with friends and family and then work your connections through social media, e.g. LinkedIn and Twitter.  Networking “close to home” will build your confidence and prepare you for future meetings.  Get involved in professional organizations, community and/or alumni groups or even political activities. It’s always easier to strike up a conversation with someone who shares a common interest.
  2. Learn about industry trends. Educate yourself on the current job market by following trade and business journals on Twitter, e.g., @Forbes,  @HarvardBiz,  @TheEconomist, @BloombergNews.  Use your network to locate people with experience in your desired industry or occupation and tap into their real-life expertise. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook and LHH’s Job Market Perspectives report offer a wealth of information on job-related trends.
  3. Ask for referrals. Referrals are typically defined as an opportunity for a candidate to connect with a decision-maker who’s been told about them by a mutual friend, colleague or associate. Remember, people prefer to hire people they know. As evidenced by our research, referrals are considered the most effective method for sourcing candidates among both HR managers (77 percent) and recruiters (88 percent).


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