There is often talk of hidden job market, and I have to tell you, it does exist. It goes beyond just knowing the right person. While networking is often essential to finding hidden opportunities, it isn’t the only option.
Did you ever consider reaching out to a recruiter or manager to let them know that you are really interested in an opportunity, should it become available? Good recruiters and managers are always preparing for the future. What could be better for companies than having a backlog of good candidates, just in case?
I have two short stories on this, one happened to me and the other happened to my friend:
“Jon” was in a coffee shop when he overheard the owners of a small company. He Googled the company name, did a quick scan of news about the company and then approached the two owners. Jon introduced himself, and mentioned that he overheard them talking. Jon then proceeded to let the owners know he was familiar with their company and very excited by what they were doing. Jon also let them know that he would love to be a part of their team. The owners, who were surprised and flattered, told him that while they would love to hire someone who shared their passion, they had no openings and could only offer a short internship. Not dissuaded by the lack of a full-time opportunity, he interviewed for the internship which turned into a full-time job a few months down the line.
My story is simpler. I saw a position I was interested in posted online on an HR job site (jobs.shrm.org), but the office location was far away. After doing some research, I saw the company had multiple locations, and decided to reach out anyway. I let them know I saw they had no openings in my area, but would love to be considered if a similar opportunity became available in NYC. A few weeks later, I got a call when someone resigned.
When you are searching for the right job, you have to utilize multiple strategies. One good and underutilized strategy is applying for jobs that aren’t yet available or even potentially don’t yet exist. It’s a great way to show a company you are truly interested in working with them. As a candidate, it is a fantastic way to beat out the competition. After all, how many people do you know who are applying for opportunities that aren’t open?