What is the Hidden Job Market? Why Should Veterans Care?

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I’ve got some good news here – most jobs are not filled through job boards.  Turns out dropping your resume into a giant resume pool is a lot less successful than networking and using a recruiter when you are looking for a new job.  Here’s why . . .

The hidden job market is any place where jobs get filled without being posted on a company website.   These include:

  • jobs created for someone interviewing with the company that are a unique fit for a future position
  • jobs created around a concept position that someone interviewing has recommended or illuminated in an interview
  • jobs created to retain someone who has outgrown their position and may be looking to leave the firm
  • jobs created to hire a very unique and talented candidate the firm feels it needs to bring on board.

These job openings come through word of mouth and informal networks as well as through recruiters and hiring managers who need to fill a position quickly.  This hidden job market is less competitive and less rigid and allows applicants to apply for positions outside of the normal company job board process.  Let’s face it – the less competition you have looking for a job, the easier it is to land one.

As a veteran how do you take advantage of this?  Keep your networks up to date about your job search and stay in touch with peers or colleagues you know are looking on their own or work in a company you would like to join.  They will have their ear to the ground about potential openings and be able to get you in front of a decision maker pretty quickly.  Keep your resume up to dateUse LinkedIn and your other networks to search for status updates about people looking to hire, however informally.

Recruiters usually know about these positions before they get posted on a job board, so stay in touch with yours often and ensure they know what you are looking for and that you are open to new opportunities.  And recruiters get you in front of the decision-makers without any gatekeepers, keeping you on the front edge of the hiring timeline, allowing you to get an interview before many people even know about the job.

Take advantage of the hidden market – it’s where all of the best jobs are.


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