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Hidden Job Market Essentials: Part One of Four - What Is The ''Hidden Job Market'' Mark Swartz, M.B.A. M.Ed.

About the Author

Mark Swartz, MBA, M.Ed., is Canada's Career Activist. His insights reach millions yearly as the Career Advisor, as author of the best seller "Get Wired, You're Hired," also as a professional speaker and coach on career/work issues. A former Toronto Star careers columnist, Mark's advice is forthright and practical. For Canada's biggest directory of free career articles, and for personalized coaching, please visit

Mark Swartz
Monday, January 22, 2007

Looking for a job online and applying to positions on the websites of employers, are great ways to find the ''advertised'' positions: that is, postings that are publicly displayed.

In total, these types of opportunities make up a pretty good chunk of all the work that's available. Where then are all the other the jobs concealed?

They're in the so-called ''hidden job market'' which is made up of openings that become available but don't get widely published. This happens many times every workday. For instance, someone may quit unannounced, leaving an immediate gap. Or else a company might land a major new client and need to hire like crazy (but they don't want to pay for advertising the jobs or going through recruiters). These types of examples form the hidden job market positions that are filled by, or created for, candidates (job seekers) who come to an employer's attention through employee recommendations, referrals from trusted associates, direct inquiries and the networking efforts of a job seeker.

While continuing to scour the job banks, you can also use a variety of tactics to find work that hasn't been broadcast. No matter how you approach it, though, your search for work is just like a marketing campaign where employers are the buyers, and you're the product! There are two basic paths you can take here. One is called Cold Marketing, which simply means that the employers you apply to do not know you previously, and thus you are ''going in cold''. The other type is called Warm Marketing. As its name implies, here your path has been paved for you by someone who has a connection to the employer. As a result, you receive a ''warm welcome'' instead of a cooler reception.

Cold Marketing, when you get down to it, is all about getting your RESUME in front of people who can hire you. Warm Marketing, on the other hand, is all about getting YOU in front of people who can hire you. In the next two columns we'll cover the techniques you can use for each of these integrated marketing approaches into the hidden job market. I hope you'll join us for the entire series.

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