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The Hidden Job Market is Concealed in Plain Sight

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The United States is in the beginning stages of its rebound from the economic disruption as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national unemployment rate dropped to 11.1 percent in June, representing a decline in unemployment from April and May’s 14.7 and 13.3 respective reports. While there are signs of a market rebound, according to CNBC, “new college grad job outlook is more competition and lower pay.”

Job seekers must remain diligent while seeking new opportunities. According to Zety, recruiters take an average of just eight seconds to scan a resume, and out of every 250 applications, an average of only 4-to-6 applicants will receive an interview.

Even worse, only 40 percent of job openings are ever advertised, leaving 60 percent of jobs to be filled without the use of job boards, social media, or common marketing mediums. How is it that qualified candidates are being hired into the secret 60 percent?

Welcome to the hidden job market.

What is the hidden job market? Is it a myth?

The hidden job market encompasses all jobs not readily available for job seekers. Frequently, these positions are filled internally, or through a recruiter’s professional network. For example, companies rely on internship programs to fill entry-level roles and utilize word-of-mouth references from trusted colleagues and advisors to secure their desired talent.

Although the size of this job market can fluctuate given economic conditions, this market does make up a large portion of all available positions, according to LiveCareer. The hidden job market will remain a viable source for a recruiter’s talent pipeline, and the retention of internal talent will remain the definitive goal.

So…how can you position yourself, today, to take control of the hidden job market?

1.) Uncover Opportunity 

  1. Connect with recruiters, decision-makers, and headhunters
  2. Present a clear solution to a business’ need
  3. Proactively attend virtual industry events and learning seminars
  4. Seek advice from established professionals

According to U.S. News & World Report

2.) Create Opportunity

Many job seekers pause for opportunity to be presented to them. This is a grave mistake as those that create their opportunities will see far greater success in securing a desirable job in their field.

How does this happen? Simple. Create your luck by positioning your skills and relentlessly pursue your career aspirations. Those that have this passion will uncover their opportunity. This person is someone who communicates professionally with colleagues they trust, and connects with those in their field through networking and internships while remaining proactive. This endless desire leads them to a position in the hidden job market.

The hidden job market is not a mystery nor a myth. A sufficient number of positions are available to all job seekers that choose to uncover this path. While the work to follow this road will not come easy, those with the desire to find opportunity will succeed. The most important point? Hiring managers want candidates who are passionate and willing to take the necessary steps to secure their opportunity. Organizations want candidates who never stop searching and improving their skills. They want those who can pull back the veil that blocks them from the hidden job market.

This market…is only hidden…to those who choose not to seek out opportunity.


The hidden job market, although may contain approximately 60 percent of open positions, is not hidden at all. This market is only hidden to those who choose not to seek out opportunity.

Success is no mystery, and the opportunities are not hidden.

  1. Seek internship opportunities
  2. Leverage relationships
  3. Proactively build your professional network
  4. Establish a defined goal and communicate that goal clearly


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