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    How to Successfully Navigate the Hidden Job Market (Best Practice Tip Sheet)

    CDI's Best Practice Tips from the Pros on Navigating the Hidden Job MarketWhen it comes to how to navigate the hidden job market, there is a lot of confusion to clear up along with effective strategy that career professionals (career coaches and resume writers) can impart to their job-seeking clients. Research shows that 80% of jobs are not publicly advertised. How then, are job seekers supposed to find jobs? To answer this question, we asked our CDI members to tear down the mystery of the hidden job market.

    How to navigate the hidden job market: what it is, what it means, and how to approach it strategically.

    So many job seekers today think everything is online – and why wouldn’t they think that? After all, every other aspect of our lives has moved online, so it would be an easy assumption to make. However, the vast majority of roles are filled through networking, internal referrals, and recruiters. How then, can we, as career services professionals, set our clients up for success to land a job without ever having to apply to an online job post?

    Targeting the visible job market is like lining up outside a theater for days to wait for tickets to go on sale, while targeting the hidden job market is like skipping that line, entering through the theater’s back door, and getting prime seating based on your connection with someone who works there.

    One thought that exemplifies the hidden job market is Insiders get hired. People hire people, not pieces of paper. So, how can you help clients get in through the back door and become an insider?

    Let’s find out!

    In this 12-page tip sheet, we cover:

    • Definition, plus a strong story-based analogy, of the hidden job market.
    • Four stages of a job opening.
    • Numerous ways to identify target companies, including strategy for using and optimizing LinkedIn along with several other valuable sites, tools and resources.
    • Where to connect, including virtual and F2F networking.
    • How to stand out with a LinkedIn profile.
    • Ways to initiate contact with sample LinkedIn personalized connection request scripts.
    • Strategy for warming up new and existing contacts.
    • Scripts for approaching warm contacts or referrals on LinkedIn to take the next step.
    • Using third-party recruiters.
    • Various events, people, and organizations to target in F2F and online networking.
    • Sample email message script for reaching out to a networking contact with a resume (as situation warrants).
    • Recommended balance of local and virtual job search.
    • Current trends and the effects of COVID-19 on the hidden job market.

    Special Thanks to Our Contributors

    The following CDI members each contributed to this discussion:

    • Barbara Safani – Career Solvers
    • Jane Roqueplot – JaneCo’s SENSIBLE SOLUTIONS
    • Amrita Kolay – AmritaKolay.com
    • Natalie Joan MacLellan – Best Foot Forward
    • Anne Hull – Hull Strategies, LLC
    • Miriam O’Connor – Successful Resumes Bay of Plenty
    • Adrienne Davis
    • Laura Labovich – The Career Strategy Group
    • Cheryl Lynch Simpson – Executive Resume Rescue
    • Mandy Fard – Market-Connections Professional Resume Writing Services
    • Matthew Warzel – MJW Careers, LLC
    • Debbie Marshall – Thrive Consulting

    The following CDI Education committee members worked hard to make this project possible through curation and editing: 

    • Robert Dagnall – Resume Guru
    • Bridget Batson – Houston Outplacement Resume Writing and Career Counseling
    • Rachel Raymond – RVP Writing and Design, LLC
    • Zakiyyah Mussallihullah – Andy Thomas Careers Now
    • Michelle Lopez – One2One Resumes

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    Resume Writers and Career Coaches

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    NEW Download the done-for-you job seeker handout in MS Word:

    This resource is a spin-off from the original tip sheet meant to be used with your clients. It’s in MS Word so you can brand it for your company with logo, contact information and even changes to content. You are free to sell it as a standalone or package item or give it away as you see fit. Some members offer tip sheets such as these as a blog post or gateway content on their website to build their marketing list. 

    Job Seeker Handout: How to Successfully Navigate the Hidden Job Market >>

    Additional Resources

    Creating Client Job Search Momentum & Accountability (Video Lesson) >>

    Job Search Networking Strategy Package (Done-for-You Download) >>

    Job Search Networking (Best Practice Tip Sheet) >>

    Informational Interviewing: Tap Hidden Job Market >>

    Teach Your Clients to Tap into the Hidden Job Market (Audio) >>

    Best Job Search Techniques to Use in a Tough Economy >>

    Strategies for Targeting the Hidden Job Market (Audio) >>

    Course: Certified Hidden Job Coach & Profile Writer >>


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