Chapter 6: Job Search and Networking

6.2 Hidden job market

Boys and Girls Club of London building, London Ontario
Boys and Girls Club of London

Chances are, you’ve tried your hand at job searching at one time or another and (to your dismay) you’ve come to the conclusion that finding a job isn’t an easy task! People want to hire you, but you need an organized and targeted approach. Instead of focusing on the quantity of applications, start focusing on the quality of applications you’re sending out. Without a clear understanding of the hidden job market, the importance of using a variety of job search methods, and a tailored approach, you are at risk for increasing your frustrations and decreasing your motivation to find work.

The hidden job market, which according to Statistics Canada accounts for 65-80% of available jobs, suggests that an unprecedented number of jobs are no longer being publicly posted. More often than not, positions are being filled internally, by referral or through direct contacts.  This is because employers prefer to fill vacancies by

  • Word of Mouth
  • Friend of a friend
  • Filling vacancies from volunteers
  • Filling vacancies with an existing part-time employee

You need to tap into the hidden job market by diversifying your job search. This means opening the door to a more responsive market and expanding additional opportunities, resulting in a shorter, more successful search.

In the following sections, job searching has been divided into two major approaches – your online job search strategy and your networking strategy.


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