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The Key to Landing that Hidden Job

Everyone knows that job-hunting can be exhausting. You spend hours online applying for every job you are remotely interested in, later realizing that you are competing with hundreds, possibly thousands, of other applicants for the same job.


But then you get one of those LinkedIn update emails telling you that one of your contacts just landed a great new job…a job you were definitely qualified for, and would have applied for if you had only known it existed.

A frustrating truth of today’s job market is that the best opportunities are often in hidden or unadvertised jobs. What exactly is a “hidden” job? Executive talent agent Debra Feldman says that hidden jobs are those that aren’t created until the correct candidate presents himself.

As Feldman explains, “When a hiring authority has an opportunity to restructure and can bring in people and or can promote or have a way to replace a resource, they are happy to know about a candidate in advance. There can also be a situation when there is no vacancy now, but the boss knows there will be one in the future. Additionally, it can be when a company hasn’t gotten around to advertising a vacancy for many reasons — don’t have a budget to advertise, budget isn’t available for 6 months, or don’t want a thousand applicants and prefer to find talent through referrals. These are the hidden jobs.”

These hidden jobs are the difference between finding a job that you can do and landing a job that was made for you. The real question then becomes, how exactly do you go about finding these hidden jobs?

It’s all about constant networking. You have to get people to know you and know your skills. “It’s not just what you know or even who you know, but who knows, likes, and trusts you and will share job leads with you,” Feldman explained.

If you are well-connected, your connections become “career insurance.” Instead of having to establish new connections, you will have a jump-start as a trusted contact and be among the first to learn about potential leads from insiders before you need or want a new job.

Feldman says, “Individuals who are looking to make a change have to dig their wells before they are thirsty. They have to know these people before they need a job.” Hidden jobs often take a long time to materialize. You essentially have to market yourself to someone who has no vacancies with the knowledge that a vacancy can open in the future. If you wait until you’re unemployed, contacts are harder to come by and you have much more at stake in the process, according to Feldman.

The process doesn’t end when you land that dream job either. Networking and building key relationships can take years. Also, it is now extremely rare for employees to spend their entire careers at one company. These days, you must direct your own career path; you cannot rely on companies to do it for you. The only person really looking out for your career is you.


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