Some tips on how to look for work in the Hidden Job Market (not advertised)

Updated: Jun 11, 2019

Some Ways to look for work in the Hidden Job Market

Roughly about 60% to 70% of jobs are found in the hidden market. There are several reasons why employers preferred it:

  • It is cheaper than listing an advertisement - as they don’t have to pay for a slot on a website or newspaper

  • It can be less risky as the ‘applicant’ may have been recommended by a member of staff. This gives the employers a more rounder or safer view of the ‘applicant’.

  • It speeds up the recruitment process

  • It keeps the recruitment process quiet and so they don’t have to deal with multitudes of other 'applicants'.

  • There is a higher chance of getting a motivated skilled employee who has a direct interest in working for the company/sector

The main areas where jobs in the hidden job market can be found:

  1. Self-Employment / growing small-to-medium businesses

  2. Recruitment Agencies

  3. Internal sourcing or promotions

  4. Word of Mouth (e.g. someone works at the company and tells you about an upcoming job or through a online discussion groups)

  5. Networking (social media / conferences / informational interviewing/ trade shows/ job fairs /recommendation from another employer/employee)

  6. Volunteering / Internship / Placements

Below are different methods that they can be used. These are not any particular order.

  1. Join job groups on Facebook (an example of ones that I have joined):

  • jobs in Belfast

  • jobs in Belfast and Northern Ireland

  • job hunting DCS - the one I manage for people in Carrickfergus , Ballymena, Belfast and Bangor areas

  • mums at work networking group

  • Join groups of interest or industry related – social media marketing, holistic, IT, HR etc.

2. Sign up to Linked In (this is used a lot by employers and recruitment agencies)

  • Your profile is basically an online CV - this makes you visible to other professionals and recruiters

  • Once you have signed up to Linked in – make your profile is available to employers .

  • To enable the feature, simply turn sharing “On” and fill in some brief information about the types of roles you are interested in.

  • Use a catchy headline – “Independent admin contractor experienced in the charity sector with high-quality administrative work in fast-paced work environments.”

  • Join professional or industry-related groups

  • Follow companies and connect with the people that work in them

  • Connect with people with similar professional interests

  • Always way use a personal request, when contacting someone new on linked in - explain why you would like to add them to your network.

  • Build your network to the 1st degree. Your connections can exponentially increase your exposure and access to other connections.

  • LinkedIn makes it easy to connect with people you know by importing your contact lists from sites such as Gmail.

  • Get Recommendations from people that you have worked with

  • Recommendations are like a testimonial to your work and skills that everyone can see.

3. Join good quality recruitment agencies

  • Find out where they advertise then book mark these on your browser tool bar (NI:, are used a lot by good quality recruitment agencies)

  • I have saved a list of different recruitment providers (Belfast Area) and the sectors that they specialise in the 'file section ' Facebook group - Job Hunting DCS. If unable to access - I can email this to you - contact me at

  • Go online and read reviews about different recruitment agencies

  • Consider for jobs that may be slightly outside your skills set and apply for these as well - it is all about making contact with the recruitment consultant. Often Recruitment Consultants can tell you about other positions that they have but have not yet been advertised.

  • A lot of jobs that come through agencies tend to temporary (generally they need staff to fill in for someone who is on sick or maternity leave). They can potential lead to other positions within the same company – or should the person that you are temping for not returning back - you could end up being kept on in their role.

  • Make sure that you use a tailored CV for the sector that you are interested in

  • Get into routine of calling them once a week – they might get to see that you are determined to get a job

4. Use Google Maps or

  • Type in your address and see what local companies are near you. List their names and address and then do for a search for them online. A lot of companies have a recruitment section on their website. Check this out.

  • Type in a profession area into – do a search – as above it lists employers and just repeats the same action.

5. Go Direct to the Employer

  • Research the company and look at their website

  • Don't send speculative applications to the HR manager or recruitment manager as you are unlikely to get a response. Take some time to research the company using Google or LinkedIn and try to identify the person within that organisation who might have a suitable vacancy; then send a speculative application letter and your CV to them by name.

  • You can also contact the receptionist at the company and state that you need to send a letter to the head of specific department (that you are interested in) - "Hello. Could you please tell me the name of the person who manages the marketing department?"

  • If you are sending a CV directly to an employer – send it as a letter and not as an email. Emails get overlooked and can be easily deleted. Letters tend to get read and any accompanying documents (with your letter) will probably be left somewhere. Always state in your letter, if it is possible for your CV to be held on file, should a vacancy arise in the future.

  • A good cover letter should outline your particular interest in this company, how your skills or strengths relate to the position and your career ambitions.

  • The covering letter should include 5 key bullet points of what you have to offer that can make a difference to their company. Use your research on the company to show your understanding of their market and state why you want to work for that particular company.

  • If going in person, take several copies of your CV with an accompanying cover letter, look smart, ask relevant questions, be polite, as ‘about the recruitment process’ – rather just asking if there are any jobs available.

  • By asking about the recruitment process it allows you to gather more information and spends a little more time with the person from that company.

  • You could also ask if it would be possible to visit the company and maybe have a chat or informational interview with one of the managers. Sometime companies will permit this. This can should your futher interest in the company.

  • If you are contacting them over the phone – write of a series of short questions( that you want to ask them), be polite, speak clearly, record notes, ask about the recruitment process and share some of your own knowledge in this sector.

  • If possible - you could ask about volunteering or a placement at the company.

  • Subscribe to their company’s news alerts. Often this will tell if the company is growing in a certain area – which may lead to potential recruitment drive.

6. Other Types of Networking

  • Talk to family and friends

  • Contact ex-employers or ex-employees that you know

  • Use connections through professional associations

  • Set up an information interview

  • Contact Personal Advisers at job centre – often businesses that are expanding in the local community will contact the job centre before they official advertise.

  • Find out if there are any job search groups in your local area – job centres and some church, community and charity groups may offer these.

  • Professional Associations

#achievabletargets #researchacompany #directtoanemployer #tailoredcv #userecruitmentagencies #signuptoLinkedIn #joingroupsonsocialmedia

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Belfast, United Kingdom

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