Looking for work? Discover the hidden job market.
Are you looking for employment? The hidden job market is an excellent place to look for roles that are not advertised online. WISE Employment’s Career Development Consultant, Siweida Peng, describes the hidden job market, where to get started and provides advice on what to do when applying for jobs.
What is the hidden job market?
The hidden job market is about discovering the roles in your local area. Small business can have several roles you may not think of, including: administration work, customer service, marketing, cleaning, floor work and more. By networking with locally owned and run businesses in your area, you unlock the potential of finding a job which may not be advertised online.
Where to find local businesses
If a small business is looking to hire and they receive 30 resumes, they might not have time to interview the candidates when they’re already short staffed. This is why Siweida believes it is important to visit the businesses and make their job easier.
You can find local businesses by searching:
- Local Yellow Pages
- Newspaper advertisements (look for plumbers, electricians or stores)
- Local TV advertising
- Local radio
- Your existing network including friends, family, old colleagues
- Local shopping centres
- Local bakery, café, restaurant, food store or fish and chips shop
- Walking around factories / industrial areas
- Community groups
- Sports clubs
- And more
Siweida says to “keep in mind all the places you go to regularly. Notice if the staff are happy, polite and genuinely care for their customers. If so, they’re likely to be a good company and it’s worth marketing yourself to them.”
If you’re part of a club or attending industry events, use this opportunity to meet people and grow your network. “Having this shared interest makes it easier for you to break the ice,” explains Siweida.
Targeting the hidden job market
Siweida explains that when starting to target the local industries, you should start in your own local area first and work your way out to neighbouring suburbs.
“You can print out a map of the area and create a plan to visit five to ten employers in a day. If the decision maker is not available when you are there, plan to visit the next day at a different time.”
“The goal is to get face-to-face time with the employer so they can get to know who you are and the fact that you are local and available. Every company has their own way of running the business and you might have the opportunity to interview right there and then.”
After you speak to a manager or employer, you can follow up with a phone call or email to ensure you stay front of mind.
Job seeking tips
When it’s time to approach businesses, Siweida has a couple of points for you to keep in mind:
- Have copies of your resume printed out to give to businesses.
- Have a friendly and professional tone of voice when chatting to local business. It can be hard not to lose your patience sometimes but the employer will remember the way you made them feel.
- Research the business before visiting. If you show interest in the business, they will show interest in you.
- Check what is visible on your social media account. Ensure there are no offensive photos, language or posts your friends have tagged you in.
- Google yourself on a new device to see what information is visible.
- Ensure your email address is professional.
- Write your phone number on your resume in the format of 0412 345 678. This makes it easier for the employer to read and reduces the chance of them calling the wrong person
- Have patience. Not everyone will be hiring at that moment you are searching.
- When you leave a role, don’t burn bridges. Many community businesses know each other and can call your past employers for a reference.
Your local WISE team are here to help you navigate the job market and answer any questions you may have.
Read more stories from WISE Employment including how to make your resume stand out, tips on finding work during changing COVID-19 restrictions and how WISE’s services can help you find employment.