August 1, 2013
By Heidi Wrighton, Coordinator of Career Services – August 2013
If you’re looking for a job, you know the basic steps: Locate a job posting, update your resume, write a cover letter, apply, and wait to hear back. Simple, right? Unfortunately, for many of us this approach doesn’t always work. Ever heard of the “hidden” job market? It’s been stated that 80% of jobs are not posted. These may be jobs that have yet to be developed, been handed off to recruiting companies, or been set aside because the recruiting process is so cumbersome and overwhelming. Also, internships may turn into jobs which were never posted.
Changes in the labor market due to technology, increased competition, and raised standards have affected the job search process resulting in quicker time frames, a larger pool of applicants, and how we search for jobs and network. Knowing how to tap into the “hidden” job market is critical to your job search success. The number one strategy is NETWORKING. Much like dating, where you might be more inclined to date someone introduced to you by your cousin or best friend, employers often give preference to applicants who have a connection, direct or indirect. Networking has always been important, but today it’s even more so. Fortunately, it’s easy to network online via LinkedIn and other social media websites. However, nothing beats getting out from behind your computer and meeting people face-to-face to grow your network. Most career experts recommend you spend 80% of your time networking and 20% searching online. Career fairs, local events such as the Vermont Tech Jam or chamber of commerce sponsored events, and other promotional and professional events are wonderful opportunities to network. Curiosity and enthusiasm will carry you through the event as you strengthen your network and cultivate new opportunities. So if you’ve been looking for a job without success, remember 80/20.