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Use the Media to Tap into the Hidden Job Market

  • Kevin Brennfleck and Kay Marie Brennfleck National Certified Career Counselors and Life Calling CoachesSM
  • 2009 12 Oct
Use the Media to Tap into the Hidden Job Market


Do you feel like your job search is going nowhere? To succeed in this challenging job market, you will most likely have to use some new tactics to find job openings. Studies show that approximately 75-80% of jobs are found in the "hidden job market," which means that the majority of available jobs aren't going to be listed on your favorite Internet job boards or in your local newspaper.

Find Out Where the Jobs Are Hiding

There are many methods for tapping into the hidden job market, but they all share the same goal of identifying people or companies who have a need for someone with your skills and experience. One effective method of finding companies that have potential job openings is using business-related media to find companies that are growing, entering new markets, receiving government subsidiary money, winning grants, etc. Here are some resources you can use to find organizations that are experiencing changes and could be interested in hiring you:

  • Fortune Magazine lists the "Fortune 500" (the ranking of America's top corporations) by state. Use links to find out what is happening in the largest employers in your area.

Fortune also has useful business articles to target companies that may be hiring. For example: The Fortune 500's biggest winners: Even as the economy crumbled, these 20 firms managed to make big money. Companies making money are more likely to have job openings. Which of these companies might need someone like you?

Example: dBusiness: Detroit's Premier Business Journal features an article on "green energy" which states that "...Michigan has 109,067 private-sector green jobs - 96,767 direct green jobs and 12,300 green support jobs. From a sample of 358 Michigan firms, the survey found that the green sector's workforce increased by 2,500 workers from 2005 to 2008, a growth rate of 7.7 percent, compared with an overall statewide employment decline of 5.4 percent during the same period." The article also discusses retraining available in this field. Further investigation into which companies are involved in the green energy movement would very likely produce job leads.

You Have to Dig to Uncover Hidden Jobs

If you're thinking, "Boy, this sounds like it takes some effort!" you're right! Finding jobs in the hidden job market does require initiative, resourcefulness and persistence. That's why most job seekers aren't doing it! But if you're tired of responding to Internet ads and not getting any offers, what do you have to lose? By accessing the hidden job market, you may find yourself being the only applicant for a job (as opposed to one of several hundred responding to an Internet job posting). You are also more likely to find a job that fits you well. A Harvard study found not only that 75% of job seekers found their jobs through personal and employer contacts, but that 44% had new positions created just for them!

Your next job may be just a few contacts away. Start today; use the ideas and links in this article to make a list of local companies that may be hiring now or in the near future. Then use effective strategies to contact employers directly. (See our article "Contacting Employers Directly to Get into the "Hidden" Job Market" for tips on how to do this.) Take the right actions-repeatedly, if necessary--and you will succeed!

October 12, 2009

Kevin Brennfleck and Kay Marie Brennfleck are the authors of Live Your Calling: A Practical Guide to Finding and Fulfilling Your Mission in LifeAs National Certified Career Counselors and Life Calling Coaches, they are recognized experts in helping people identify their giftedness and find their purpose in life. If you are interested in career coaching and testing to discover work that fits your God-given design; or would like assistance with writing a powerful resume, interviewing effectively, finding job openings, or other aspects of a successful job search, you can schedule a free consultation session at