Great Resumes Fast » Job Search » Kicking Down the Door to the Hidden Job Market

Have you heard of the hidden job market? It’s a key to your job search success.

The hidden job market is massive—by some expert estimates, more than 85% of jobs are “hidden”.  And, there’s not just one way to tap into the hidden job market.  There are several—all with varying degrees of success.

Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting a series of articles on the blog all about the hidden job market—from exactly what the hidden job market is, to several different ways you can tap into it.  My hope is that by uncovering this “hidden” job market—and the strategies used to access it—you’ll be able to leverage those tips, strategies, and techniques to help you find a new position faster.


The hidden job market doesn’t refer to positions that are kept secret—the ones that employers never want you to hear about.  It actually refers to positions that simply aren’t posted online or advertised.  They’re filled via referrals, networking, or some other means.


I’ve read varying statistics, but the majority agree that about 85% of the jobs available are never posted online or advertised in any way.  The stats may be even higher for top executives or those whose salaries are $200K or higher.


So now that you know this hidden job market exists, what are some of the ways that you can tap into it?  I’m going to break down each method in more detail in future blog posts—we’ll be discussing cold calling, value proposition letters, direct mail, social media, informational interviews, networking, and more.  We’ll also evaluate less-effective methods for job searching.


I also want to point out, given that only about 15% of jobs are ever posted online on job boards or advertised, the competition is pretty intense.  You can figure that most (pretty close to 100%, I’d estimate) job seekers are using job boards to search; and they’re all applying to less than 15% of available positions.  No wonder so many job seekers apply to jobs on job boards—and NEVER hear back from anyone.

Breaking into the hidden job market isn’t just for executives—or only for mid-career folks.  In fact, it can work for ANY job seeker at any career level.  I’m partial to direct mail; that’s how I found employment when I was ready to return to work after the birth of our first daughter many years ago.  My husband had great success cold calling.  It’s actually how he received three job offers six months before separating from the USAF after 12 years of active duty. The biggest take away you should get from this article is that you need to be thinking outside of the job search box and start tapping into the hidden job market.

Value proposition letters are one of the tools used to access the hidden job search market and have proven to be 85% successful landing a new position in 90 days or less. Pretty inspiring and motivating results if you ask me. You can see a sample value proposition letter here and learn more about how to write one or have one written for you.



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About the author

Jessica Hernandez, President, CEO & Founder of Great Resumes Fast

Hi, I’m Jessica. I started this company back in 2008 after more than a decade directing hiring practices at Fortune 500 companies.

What started as a side hustle (before that was even a word!) helping friends of friends with their resumes has now grown into a company that serves hundreds of happy clients a year. But the personal touch? I’ve kept that.

You might have seen me featured as a resume expert in publications like Forbes, Fast Company, and Fortune. And in 2020, I was honored to be named as a LinkedIn Top Voice of the year!

I’m so glad you’re here, and I can’t wait to help you find your next perfect-fit position!

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