Don’t hide from the hidden jobs!

I guess it is human nature that what we cannot see somehow intrigues us – as long as we know it is there. When I coach jobseekers I often get questions about the mysterious hidden jobs; how to find those, how to apply for them. The question itself is the wrong way around. As the name implies, the hidden jobs are intended to be filled outside of the public eye. Therefore attempting to find such vacancies is perhaps not the most fruitful effort. Instead, do what only you can do best – make yourself easy to find! Somebody somewhere is working on finding the most suitable candidates for every single one of those hidden jobs in the market. Why should you care who that somebody is – instead, concentrate on making sure that somebody comes across your name and expertise. The laws of nature, or should I say headhunting, will take care of the rest.

A good place to start is with your LinkedIn profile. A skeleton of a profile – even if discovered – is not painting a very attractive professional picture. A comprehensively covered employment history and educational background will make a far better impression. Also, check that the field of expertise indicated below the heading of your profile is accurately indicating your field of expertise – not that of your current or previous employer’s. Even more importantly, include a summary that paints your professional picture in a nutshell. If possible, an indication of current focus areas or professional interests would be most useful to include here – highly valuable for the occasional headhunter coming across your profile! Last but not least, give some thought to the keywords; the professional terminology you would like your profile to be associated with. Embed these terms in the text fields of your profile, preferably so that each one of them appears somewhere in your profile at least twice. Now you have one cornerstone of your job-hunt in place, whether you are actively looking or just ‘curious’, and working for you 24/7.

Various social media profiles can all help you to be discovered. However, no matter how well the profiles have been built, just having them there is still quite a passive presence. You can drive your own visibility by actively sharing what you know, thus making your professional expertise known. There is no shortage of ways to do this in this day and age. You can look for and join various professional groups in Internet, for example in the mentioned LinkedIn, and start to participate in discussions related to your expertise in those. Twitter provides ample opportunity to share your views and opinions as well – just remember to include relevant hashtags in your tweets. And if you are comfortable producing articles about various topics related to your expertise and experience, keeping a blog is still a great way to do that. Not to mention that each professional text you publish will be useful content to distribute via your social media profiles and professional groups. This is likely to further drive traffic to your profiles, spark contacts and networking requests – in short, getting your name across those professional circles you targeted.

Before you launch your well-planned publicity campaign, it will be a good idea to go through the privacy settings of each one of your social media profiles you are planning to use in it. If your intention is to share views and useful information to build visibility on your expertise, any privacy controls with your profiles should be kept to bare minimum. As an example, why limit what you are sharing so that only your followers can see those little nuggets of wisdom? Also check that your followers will get a notification of your actions in the professional groups. You may not want to hide your contact information too deep in the source code, either.

Now you can take a breather from worrying about those hidden jobs. They are already heading your way.