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The Hidden Job Market and Other Job Search Tips

As 2016 comes to a close, so does the job search tips series. I’ve covered how to Avoid Job Search Fail and Increase Your Odds of Success, Why You Should Continue Your Job Search During the Holiday, and How to Set a Clear Job Search Goal, and How to Avoid Falling for 6 Common Job Mistakes.

January and February will cover a two-part series of topics focused on career marketing communications. Career marketing communications are the communications that you use in your job search – your resume, cover letter and other job search letters, LinkedIn and other online profiles, etc.

In January, I’ll kick the series off with topics about how to leverage these communications as effective job search tools.  February’s series will focus more on utilizing more innovative career communications. Make sure to check it out.

Before I close out December’s job search series, I’d like to quickly touch on the “hidden job market.” According to, this is the current breakdown of how people are getting jobs:

  • 3.9% get jobs through recruiters and search firms
  • 3.6% get jobs through Internet ads/job boards
  • 75% get jobs through networking
  • 23.8% get jobs through newly created positions
  • 17.5% get jobs through other means

What is the hidden job market? It’s the available jobs that are obtained through referrals, networking, and other non-advertised methods. Interestingly, job seekers have the most success through networking (75%), and the least success applying on job boards (3.6%).

The hidden job market is about capitalizing on opportunity. Here’s one example: let’s say an opening at your company suddenly becomes available because the person that held the position previously moved out of state. Rather than advertise the job opening, the company instead decides to search for a replacement internally (internal promotion); or a company manager might refer a qualified candidate for the job from his or her own team for the position (referral).

Networking is indisputably the best way for people to find jobs. Again, opportunity is key – connecting with and building relationships with the right people through a combination of online and in-person meetings, introductions through common acquaintances, etc. I’ll talk more about networking tools and strategies in January. Happy New Year!

Kimberly Ben is a multi-credentialed Professional Resume and LinkedIn Writer and Job Search Coach. She has written hundreds of resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles, and other career communications for multiple career industries and professions. Kimberly’s extensive education, training, and experience have resulted in a clear understanding of current hiring best practices and the most effective job search techniques, branding strategies, and insight on what it takes to gain the competitive edge and impress employers in a challenging job market.

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