Not every job vacancy is advertised. In fact, at times when unemployment levels are high, employers frequently choose not to profile their vacancies online or in the pages of the local newspaper, instead banking on the fact that someone, somewhere will proactively knock on their door.
It’s known as the hidden jobs market and here are the top tips to tap it.
Finding the hidden jobs market takes a proactive approach where you contact a potential employer and register your interest in working for them. Known as cold calling, it works on the premise they either have or may soon have a job vacancy.
And there are a number of ways to do it. While it may be tempting to simply email your resume to the human resources department, sometimes a personal approach is best whether by phone or in person.
It takes gumption and effort, but these stand you in good stead as a potential employee willing to take the initiative.
So finding the hidden jobs market. How is it done?
Make a list
The first step is to make a list of employers you can imagine yourself working for, where you can employ the soft skills or previous work experience you have gained.
Include contact numbers and the name of the appropriate person to speak to if available. You should also use your contacts by touching base with people who may know of an unadvertised vacancy.
Then find an appropriate time to call the potential employer or visit in person. In the hospitality or customer service industries, ensure this is outside of their busy hours.
Cold calling takes practice so run through exactly what you intend to say and how you will introduce yourself. It may be beneficial to write yourself a script. If you’re cold calling in person, ensure you dress appropriately in smart work-suited attire, and have a copy of your updated, accurate and grammatically correct résumé at your disposal to leave with the business.
It’s all about a great first impression, so be professional, be brief and do your research in advance to learn about their work ethos including what they do, and the clientele they service.
Once you have contacted a potential employer jot down a few notes about any steps you need to take next, or areas where you can improve.
The hidden benefits
Cold calling may not always reap immediate results, but it can offer some serious benefits that stand you in good stead should a vacancy arise:
- The employer has had the opportunity to meet you and knows you’re committed to finding a job.
- They may offer work experience or a trial period.
- They may refer you to another business they know is seeking employees.
- They may offer to keep your résumé and call you if something becomes available.
The final word
Cold calling isn’t easy but it is an effective way to find a job. The key is persistence, practice, and resilience. Just because a business does not have a vacancy now doesn’t mean they don’t in the future. Meanwhile, the next business on your list may have just the right position opening at just the right time.
The Father James Grant Foundation offers willing young job seekers four-week programs aimed at providing the workplace and life skills you need to find a job. To learn more about our Mission Engage Programs and the renowned businesses we work with, see here.