Here’s how to find jobs in the hidden job market

Quick Career Tip: Here’s how to find jobs in the hidden job market

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This is a QUICK CAREER TIPS episode: short podcast episodes spotlighting a career tip for public health professionals.

Today’s career tip is on how to get into the hidden job market!

The reality is that not every job that’s available out there is advertised publicly by employers, which can make the job search all the more frustrating for those looking to break into a specific sector or role. If you want to gain access to hundreds of jobs that you might not have otherwise seen through traditional, online job boards, then today’s Quick Career Tip episode is for you.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • What the hidden job market is and how it can help you find your next job
  • How you can access the hidden job market utilizing tools that you’re already familiar with
  • What to do once you’ve accessed the hidden job market!

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Episode Transcript

Sujani 0:02
Welcome to PH SPOTlight, a community for you to build your public health career with. Join Us weekly right here. And I’ll be here too, your host, Sujani Siva from PH SPOT.

Hello, and welcome to another episode of Quick career tips here on the PH SPOT podcast. So today we are going to talk about the hidden job market and how to find jobs within this, you know, hidden job market. I’ll first start off by saying that, you know, like many of you, I only learned about the hidden job market sometime at the end of my kind of grad school time. And it’s something that I wish I had known about so much sooner. And so this might also be the first time that you’re learning about the hidden job market, or perhaps you’ve heard about it before, but you’re not too clear on what it is or how to break into it. Right? So well lucky for you, that’s exactly what we’re going to be talking about in today’s Quick Career Tip episode. So for starters, let me tell you that the hidden job market is not as elusive as it sounds, it’s not some sort of group that you get into by receiving an invite via some sort of messaging app or, you know, it’s not, it’s not a platform, for example, it’s also not some deep, dark corner of the internet where all the jobs in the world are hidden. A good way to describe the hidden job market is that it represents all of the jobs that aren’t publicly posted on formal hiring forums like company websites, or indeed or LinkedIn. In fact, almost 80% of available jobs aren’t often posted publicly by the hiring managers through these traditional job posting websites that we always go to, when we’re looking for a new job, right? They are instead filled without these employers advertising for them. And this could be, you know, because of many reasons. And some of them include because the managers don’t have the budget to post it publicly. They may have a preference for hiring someone, internally. Someone who’s already done the role previously, maybe in acting positions, and you know, many other reasons that’s internal to that organization. And so instead, these jobs are only known to people in that hiring individuals network. So the key to getting access to these jobs, is by getting into these managers’ networks, right? So we’re not going to glamorize the job hunt and make it seem like it’s super easy to get in on a hiring managers network, right, there is no kind of set out process or set out application that allows you to get into these networks. The reality is that it’s not an easy feat. But you know, the job hunt, this whole process is not meant to be super, quote unquote, easy, right? So it requires you to put in a bit of work, perhaps a few hours of your time. But by getting access to the hidden job market, you’ll be able to increase your chances of getting a job or a new opportunity, a new challenge, whatever it is that you’re looking for. So the question is, how do you get access to the hidden job market? Right? There are a number of strategies, we can use, a number of channels that you’re already probably familiar with, that I’m going to be covering. And so by leveraging these kinds of resources and tools, you’ll be able to break into this hidden job market to exercise that muscle a little bit. And so the next time that you are looking for a new opportunity or new challenge, you know how to go about it. Right?

So one of the most traditional ways to get access to the hidden job market is through networking. You know, this, I know this, we all know this. I don’t want to spend this entire episode telling you about growing your network, right? There will be quick Career Tip episodes on that in the future. I’ve talked about it in almost every single guest interview I’ve done just the importance and power of building the network around you, building meaningful relationships. So we won’t talk about that in much detail today. But I will say that there is a lot of power in having informational chats and interviews with people that seem interesting to you. And so to learn more about informational interviews and how to go about that, do check out one of our episodes titled, “The ABCs of informational interviews”, an Quick Career Tip episode titled, “Questions to ask during your informational interview”, I will link those two in today’s show notes page. So, you know, other than setting up informational interviews with people that you come across, how else can you network, right? There are traditional ways such as looking into networking events. The other one is by creating a LinkedIn profile and start to connect with folks that work in the same sector as you that you’re interested in, who have positions in our enrolls that catch your attention. And there’s also a lot of benefit to being open and honest with those in your close circle. And letting them know that you are looking for a new opportunity or a new job, and are interested in speaking with hiring managers that they may know, right? And perhaps they may be that manager themselves. You can also write, reach out and send emails to hiring managers at specific companies and ask them if you can have a conversation with them to learn more about the work that they do, and perhaps about opportunities that they may have within their network. I’ve done this in the past a few times. And it has worked quite well for me. And so yes, I am breezing through the networking piece because I want to get to one of the most helpful tools when it comes to accessing the hidden job market. And that’s LinkedIn. Again, LinkedIn is something I talk about quite a bit on the podcast. And I know you’ve heard about it quite a bit. But hear me out when I say that, in today’s day and age, having a LinkedIn profile is quite integral to getting ahead in your career, widening the opportunities that are available to you. And this is especially the case, because LinkedIn not only exposes you to millions of other professionals, it also has a really handy kind of search feature that can give you access to the hidden job market if you leverage it well, right? So you don’t need to be overly tech savvy to use this feature, all you need to do is type in the right word in that search function. And so the search function is at the top of the LinkedIn profile on the main feed. And it’s from there that you can get access to different job groups in the public health sector. So what you can do is you can start off by looking up any alumni groups your public health school program may have by simply typing the name of your school, and the word alumni. And you’ll be surprised how many alumni faculty and school administrators and staff post opportunities in these groups, right? A pro tip is to also reach out to them and see if they’re willing to speak with you about the specific posting they’ve shared. And they have more insight and information about it. Right? So think about it, you know, this group, right, as someone posting a an opportunity in some of these alumni groups, they are, you know, interested in posting there because they know that this was the group that they went to school with, these are new graduates or old graduates that they trust, it’s within their own community. And it just gives them an incentive to go and post there to to give these opportunities to their community. So that’s kind of one way of thinking about why certain alumni may be posting in these groups, whether it’s an officially posted job kind of description, or they’re just typing in a post to say, hey, I’m looking to hire someone on my team. If you’re interested, reach out to me, right, we’ve also seen some of those types of posts.

The other way you can leverage the LinkedIn search feature and find a job with it is by typing out the word hiring, followed by whatever role that it is you’re seeking. So for example, if you’re someone who’s looking for a role as a public health policy analyst, you would simply type hiring policy analyst. From that search, select the post filter, and you’ll find several job postings that specific managers and staff have made on their personal LinkedIn page. And you can utilize the filters at the top to narrow down the industry company, the date posted if you’re looking for some thing more recent and relevant, right? I’ve also seen this quite a bit kind of this activity of posting opportunities on your personal feed on Twitter. So if you’re a Twitter user, you can also go and kind of play around with the search feature and see if there’s anybody posting opportunities on their personal Twitter page. And so once you found a posting that catches your interest, whether it’s on LinkedIn, whether it’s on Twitter, shoot a message to the individual who made the post and see if you can learn more about the job from them, right, to increase the likelihood that you’ll hear back from the individual you message, make sure that your LinkedIn profile is up to date. It includes your full name, photo, a small bio, maybe something interesting, some of the work that you’ve done, so it catches that individual’s interest. And something that I also love to do is check who this individual may be connected to. And see if those individuals are part of your network, right? And, for example, if your best friend or your past supervisor is connected to this individual, you can reach out to one of these people and say, hey, I saw that so and so posted an opportunity, I’m really interested in it, are you able to make an introduction for me to learn more about it, right? So that also increases the likelihood that you will hear back from this individual.

And obviously, to get even more jobs straight in your email inbox, I’d highly recommend that you subscribe to different newsletters that different companies, organizations and associations have, right? So if you are absolutely kind of interested, or love a certain organization, be sure to be on their newsletter, because they are probably going to send job opportunities or any type of opportunities to their subscribers first, right? That’s what we do here at PH SPOT. So obviously, for starters, I need to make a plug for our weekly newsletter, where we not only share several resources to help you excel in your public health career. But we also provide you with weekly job postings, public health job postings that we come across. And these are handpicked by Liz here on our team who does such a wonderful job. And yes, these jobs are posted publicly online, and we kind of filter through them to find some really cool opportunities. But once in a while we do have the PH SPOT community members send us a note that they are recruiting within their organization. And we certainly include these posts in our newsletter. In addition, when we are hiring on our team here at PH SPOT, I have you know more than once sent out that job posting to our community members. And that’s the only place we’ve advertised because we are very, very, very much kind of wanting to recruit talent within our community, because we know that you know the community very well. And so that’s something that we do. I also have, you know, friends in public health, just very recently thinking about sending their kind of job posting recruitment posters, strictly through the PH SPOT community because again, they know it’s a, it’s a wonderful group of individuals who are dedicated in the space of public health.

So if you do anything in the next week, I hope it’s that you will explore these little hidden job market hacks, if you will. And the top one being expanding your network, reaching out to individuals you already have a relationship with, and inquiring about possible opportunities within their organizations. Altogether, I think, you know, this type of task should take 10 minutes of your time, but you know, it can have a resounding impact on the future of your career. I’m not the one to you know, exaggerate certain- certain kinds of tips and tricks. But trust me when I say that, it’s quite likely that the hidden job market has the opportunity that you’ve been looking for. And by just connecting with the right people building that meaningful relationship over time, you’re going to just open up so many doors for yourself. So with that, I hope you enjoyed this episode spotlighting this career tip of finding opportunities in the hidden job market.

And before you leave, I wanted to tell you a bit about this very exciting project that we’ve been working on here at PH SPOT. I don’t have all the details, but I do want to give you the opportunity to hear more about it through our email list. So if you are interested, please do put your name to the email list and I’ll tell you a bit about how to get on that. So up until now you’ve probably been hearing about our career program at the end of our episodes, after a few pilot cohorts this year, lots of discussions with our peers in public health, as well as schools of public health across North America and Europe, and other changemakers in our field. I’m so excited to let you know that the Career Program has taken a new form, we’ve expanded it into a much more exciting offering, which won’t only last a few weeks, but rather we’ll be with you as you grow in your career. So if you’re listening to the, to this episode, when it’s going live, which is at the end of August, or if it’s early September, I want to let you know that next month in October of 2022, we’ll be opening up the doors to one of our most exciting resources, or kind of platforms that we’ve created here at PH SPOT. And it’s going to be called the Public Health Career Club. And you can find out all about it at pHspot.org/club. And for now, I’m just going to direct you to that page, encourage you to add your email address there so that when we do have more information, I can share it there with you. I will be releasing more podcast episodes or sending out more emails around kind of the reason why we decided to launch the Public Health Career Club, why we are working so hard and kind of pouring all of our resources into this. So for now, head over to pHspot.org/club. And just look out for another episode that will tell you a bit more about the thinking behind launching the club. And so until next time, thank you so much for tuning in to the PH SPOTlight. And like always, if you want to see notes from today’s episode, head over to pHspot.org/podcast.

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About the Show

PH SPOTlight: Public health career stories, inspiration, and guidance from current-day public health heroes

On the show, Sujani sits down with public health heroes of our time to share career stories, inspiration, and guidance for building public health careers. From time to time, she also has conversations with friends of public health – individuals who are not public health professionals, but their advice and guidance are equally important.

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