Ahhhhhh…the mysterious, unadvertised job market.

I dedicate this article to all those professionals out there who have heard about the hidden market, but wonder why you should concern yourself with it.

This is not only a topic I love because I specialize in showing my clients how to succeed in landing a job using the unadvertised or hidden market, but a topic I can talk about all day! So I am splitting this article up into small, easy to digest sections in order to bring you the straight talk about the benefits you stand to gain by using non-traditional job seeking methods.

So let’s begin with a true or false:

True or false: With all the jobs listed on the internet today, I don’t need to concern myself with any “hidden” job market.

False. That is, if you care about getting more than a measly 1-to-3% response rate from the resumes you send out using major job boards.

In other words, did you send out 50 resumes using job boards and you still haven’t heard anything back? Well, by these standards your only problem is you haven’t begun to send out enough resumes, yet…yikes!

The good news about these stats is that there are a whole bunch of job seekers out there that just started to feel a whole lot better about themselves. The bad news is that this proves job boards are a really depressing, hard and painful way for the majority of us to land great jobs.

True or false: I should only answer jobs that are advertised because I will look stupid if I send my resume to a company when I have no idea if they need someone like me.

False. Way back when I had my own executive recruiting firm I remember client companies telling me, “We don’t have any immediate needs right now, but if you find a superstar, please don’t forget about us – we want to see their resume!”

Not only do companies always make time for people who are “superstars” (and a lot of this has to do with the way you market yourself to them), but most companies go through at least five steps to fill a position before they will post the position to a major job board.

Think about it. If you have a key position that just opened up in your company, is the first thing you do pick up the phone and call Monster? No, of course not!

You get on the phone to a few trusted colleagues. You look to see if anyone already on board is qualified to be promoted to it or alert your staff to refer someone they might know. You launch an intimate grass roots campaign to try to fill this position waaaay before the general public is notified. And if after a few weeks, the position is still not filled, perhaps you contact a related association to post the job on their members only job board or you contract a recruiter.

True or false: I have heard the interview process is shorter and the salary package can be significantly higher with unadvertised opportunities.

True! Why? Because when you pursue unadvertised jobs you are almost always talking with the company key decision makers right from the start. You have more creativity to sell your skills and build the value of who you can be to the company. And finally, because these interviews usually lack the formality of a full blown human resource driven candidate search, your competition is significantly lower AND the salary terms are less likely to be chiseled in stone. I have seen this play out in my clients’ favor time after time!

True or false: I am not “high enough up” the ladder to seek out unadvertised opportunities. The hidden job market only applies to executives.

False. ANYONE (and I mean even if you are right out of college) can enjoy the benefits of the hidden job market. These jobs are available on all levels and in virtually all industries.

The trick is to hone your focus so you actually achieve the results you want (more on that later!).

So why should you care about the unadvertised market? Because for you, it means more job opportunities, more market leverage, less competition, shorter interview processes and bigger offers. Golly, I can’t imagine why anyone would want to keep pumping out resumes via the internet when you can have all of this control over your next career move!

Stay tuned for next week’s article in which I will reveal powerful tips on tapping into this market yourself!