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Open and Hidden Markets = the Employment Marketplace

Advertisements    in newspapers          Job Fairs        Employment agencies        Indeed        Linked In     Face book    Tweeting
Search firms        Federal employment        State employment services
    Newspaper Advertisements online          Newspaper Advertisements paper
Not-for-profit associations' job banks        Company websites employment opportunities
    Job search groups          Professional group meetings        Alumni groups   
Targeting companies        Internet        Networking   . . . . .
Friends & family who want to help!  

It’s overwhelming!  So many sources, so little time!  Where do I start?  What should I focus on ?     What do I spend my time on?        It’s overwhelming!  
You’re right!  It is overwhelming!  Or at least it can be, if you are a job seeker without a method to manage all this madness! 

How do you, a job seeker, manage your search?  Much like any other project you would manage.  You need a goal (not a wish but a clearly defined and demarcated goal), a strategy, tools, checklists & checkpoints, and an understanding of the field you are working in – in this case the employment marketplace. 

So, when it comes to finding a job, your chance of success multiplies with having an understanding of the job market and how it operates.  Basing your campaign for a new job on reality -- not myth, misinformation, or hearsay -- is critical to success, and important to finding a job you really want . . . . . quicker!

“Job Market 101"
Here’s a quick course on the employment market and how to access it!  The employment marketplace is really comprised of two markets when it comes to sources of jobs:
(1) The Open Market  –   The market which is open to all and in which opportunities are seen by all, such as in advertisements, newspapers ads, employment agencies, job fairs and job banks
(2) The Hidden Market  –  The market in which opportunities exist but are not common knowledge , such as those found by networking and targeting companies.

Each market represents a source of jobs.  It is important to understand and work in both markets in order to find the best position in the shortest period of time.  But it is equally important to know how to prioritize the time you spend working in both markets for maximum results and success.

Not all markets are created equally
The important thing to remember in working the Open and Hidden Markets is not all markets are created equally.  Over 75%  –  and I think it is actually much higher  –  of opportunities are found in the Hidden Market.  So work smart and apportion the majority of your time to working in the Hidden Market.  Spend at least 75% in the Hidden Market, and the rest of your job-search-workday in the Open Market.  It just makes good $$cents$$ !

The Key to the Open Market
The key to the Open Market is to identify all sources where listings of jobs can be found. Look for positions on the open market in:
    Advertisements in newspapers and trade journals, Advertisements in Job Search websites like, Indeed, Linked In, Job Fairs, employment agencies, search firms, Federal employment, State employment services, association job banks, and company websites.

It’s a numbers game! 
Keep in mind that if you can go to a website or a job fair and find these opportunities, so can the 1000's of your competitors.  The mass awareness of these jobs means competition is keen. Advertisements routinely draw over 150 resumes, and in many cases far more.   As in sales in which "Success," it is said, "is in the numbers," when you are working the Open Market, it is a numbers game! 

The Key . . . . .You maximize your chance of success on the open market by locating as many sources as possible and contacting many, many prospective employers.

The Key to the Hidden Market
The key to the Hidden Market is to identify all sources where listings of jobs that can not be openly found – after all, this is the Hidden Market.  Look for positions that are not yet advertised, and needs that companies have and problems that are keeping management up at night. 
    Identify these opportunities from talking with your network, and targeting companies in industries that you are interested in.  Smaller groups such as professional associations, job search work groups, and alumni associations can also be inside sources.

These jobs can not be found in the Employment Section of your newspaper or in state and federal job listings. These positions, or potential positions, exist but their existence is known by a small group of people. These positions comprise the hidden job market; for some reason of the employer's choosing, they are not made public  – or at least not yet.

Note that the term, Hidden Market, also refers to the possibility that an employer may be open to creating a job if the need is pointed out to him or if the right "problem solver bottom line contributor" comes along.

The Key . . . . .You maximize your chance of success on the hidden market by spending the majority of your time networking, targeting companies and organizations and finding a way in via an internal champion, and attending association meetings.  Being out and about, showing up at functions, business cards in hand and “L”vator speech nicely honed, increases your effectiveness.

Any way you slice it, finding a job is hard work!   Certainly, there are those who step out of their doorways one day and luck hands them an opportunity.  But, for most of my clients, their success was derived by putting in a hard day’s work and equally importantly, by working smart.
For additional information on marketing yourself and your capabilities, please refer to the many articles found under the Articles tabs of the AJC–Career Strategy website.
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