The most common misconception in job hunting is that you have to use a platform like Indeed or Monster in order to find a job. When you use these sites as your primary method of job search, you’re at a disadvantage for two reasons: 1) everybody else is using these sites too and 2) these websites don’t capture every available job that exists (which is especially true for small companies). In fact, most jobs that exist are “hidden” in the sense that they have not yet been posted. Some situations that lead to these types of job openings include 1) retirement, 2) termination, 3) quitting, 4) jobs that are in the process of being created, 5) promotions, 6) restructuring, and 7) internal postings.
If most available jobs are hidden, then how do you position yourself to find them? Here are some tips:
- Rather than applying for every open job you find, target companies in your desired industry.
- For companies where this is a possibility, consider becoming a volunteer. This will give you and the company an opportunity to get to know one another. Remember, employers love to hire people they know because it saves them money and ensures that the employee will be more committed to the company.
- Get to know people who are working! Ask them about what it’s like to work at their company, what they like about their jobs, what kinds of challenges they face, etc. Even though the person in front of you might not know of anything available at their company, you never know whether they might be the link to someone else who does. Some places you might meet working people include:
- Community job fairs
- Events where alumni will be present
- Sporting events
- Social media
- Local meet-ups