Use this Equation for a Successful Job Search

If you are on the job search, you’ve probably encountered this phrase: hidden job market.Oooo…sounds pretty mysterious, huh? Sort of like an impenetrable curtain only the select few can get behind.

Are you feeling left out of this secret land?
First, let’s demystify the hidden job market; then look at some practical strategies for conquering it.

The hidden job market is all the jobs that change hands without being advertised, and jobs that may be advertised but go to insiders. The hidden job market also includes all the jobs that are filled by temporary or contract workers who are asked to join the organization on a permanent, full-time basis.

Why are up to 70% of open positions never advertised? Because the company will first look within (that is, within its own network of active relationships) and then, only when it has exhausted this method of candidate hunting, will it turn to the general candidate pool.

This, of course, doesn’t apply to all open positions. For example, the search for a CEO, CFO, or other executive, will usually expand beyond the company’s walls. But those are exceptions. The fact is mostjobs fall into this “insider” market.

So here are the facts:

80% of open positions never get posted 80% of all jobs are found through networking


Put 20% of your time into job postings, and, Put 80% of your time into networking

It’s that simple. Here’s the equation:

80% contact-building + 20% responding to job listings x time = A JOB!

Your main goal when looking for a job is to use your vast network of contacts to try and get close to people in companies you want to work for.

Don’t feel like you have a network? Well, even the shyest person has access to myriad contacts. Your old teachers or professors, colleagues at places where you used to work, friends from all phases of your life, acquaintances, members of your church or synagogue, neighbors, contacts on your friends list at Facebook or LinkedIn and similar social networking sites, and people that you run into in your regular daily life are all networking contacts. These people are not really strangers.

Here’s a relationship point for you: hiring managers don’t need to know you very much. If they know you at all, you go to the top of the pile. A friend of an ex-boyfriend’s exercise buddy’s dog walker’s proctologist is a close enough connection.

So, stop looking for powerful connections and start viewing everyone you can come into contact with as a potential referral source.

Remember this equation:
80% Contact-building + 20% Responding to job listings x Time = A JOB! That’s a job search equation for success.

Peter Spellman helps people discover and develop their next calling through online courses and coaching. Find him at