Not all jobs are advertised. In fact, it's been estimated that more than 70% of all jobs are filled through networking (according to the Department for Work and Pensions and numerous other studies).
The hidden job market comprises: jobs that are only advertised internally within companies; jobs that come out of speculative applications; and jobs that might not have previously existed until you sourced them.
It’s really important that you spread your net far and wide so that you're open to ALL opportunities, rather than just the advertised few (of which there's sure to be increased competition). If you're not taking advantage of social media, you could be cutting yourself off from potentially 4 out of 5 jobs on offer.
Social media is a vital instrument in uncovering hidden jobs but you have to know how to use it to open up new opportunities.
Check out Position Ignition's eGuide called 125 LinkedIn Job Search Tips to make sure you are using LinkedIn effectively for your job search and your career progression.
I’m not saying you should rely solely on social networks. Treat online networking resources as an extension of face-to-face networking, and use the two methods to complement each other.
Listed below are the three most popular social media sites and ways in which you can use them to help you find a hidden job:
LinkedIn is the world’s leading business networking site. Use it to build an online profile and connect with everyone you know in a professional sphere, as well as friends who might know people in your industry.
Once you’ve created a professional profile, recruiters can then search for people with your skills and experience – opening up opportunities within the hidden job market. Remember to always treat any profile on a professional network as you would your CV.
LinkedIn shows your ‘degrees of separation’. Your contacts are first degree, your contacts’ contacts are second degree and so on; this illustrates how quickly your network can grow.
Once you’ve created your network, there are many ways in which you can use your contacts to your advantage, including:
- See if they’re open to new ventures or career opportunities (you can select these options to display at the bottom of your profile).
- Search for companies of interest, find their current employees and send them messages asking what it’s like to work there.
- Get in touch with old colleagues and find out what they know about any industry developments.
- Join private groups where you can meet people with common interests, read industry news and contribute to discussions.
Check out: 125 LinkedIn Job Search Tips to get on top of LinkedIn and learn all the tips and tricks of the trade
Twitter can be a valuable business networking tool, providing you follow these simple instructions:
- Make your Twitter presence ‘employer-friendly’ – tweet about your job search and use a professional photo.
- Follow relevant people (jobsites, career experts, companies, individual employers) and use their knowledge and contacts to source job leads.
- Tweet and re-tweet relevant articles and links that position you as an expert within your industry.
- Include a link to an online CV or your LinkedIn profile.
- Engage and entertain your followers.
Download our 125 Twitter Job Search Tips to get a structured guide through how to use Twitter effectively when job searching.
Facebook is a social network rather than a business one. I would recommend that you change your settings to private so that employers won’t stumble across something you’d prefer they didn’t see.
When it comes to your job search, keep Facebook separate from your other social networks.
- Using Social Networks to Job Hunt
- 4 Great Tips to making the most of your Linkedin Profile
- Create an online reputation you're proud of
Gareth Lloyd, Director of Product and Digital Development, Workthing+
Workthing+ The online career management service that provides you with all the tools you need to successfully manage your career.