My wife and I are hunting for a new home. Fortunately she is a pro in knowing about all the available houses on the market in our range. She routinely scours the ads, Realtor.com, and the realtor’s web sites. Nothing gets by her—we thought. Recently one Sunday we decided to simply take a ride in the community we were interested in living. We came upon a beautiful home under construction. Ironically the builder was there. He saw us looking and invited us in. It was perfect. He then proceeded to tell us about three other homes he had for sale. All four homes were unlisted—no signs out front, no ads, no realtor listings, no internet posts. Yet, even in this market he is able to sell them through word of mouth.
The job market operates the same way. Employers routinely have job openings that are not listed. There are various reasons why employers do not advertise, from costs to avoiding an avalanche of resumes in a high unemployment market. The point is candidates must understand that by focusing their job search exclusively on the listed jobs often prevents them from finding their ideal job—or any job at all. You have to dig, you have to network, and you have to talk to the right people to ultimately discover these hidden jobs. Depending exclusively on published ads will often leave you out in the cold, whether in house hunting or job searches.