Mine the Hidden Job Market with LinkedIn

LinkedIn is more than an online resume. It is more than your modern-day Rolodex. It is a database of user-supplied information waiting for you to tap into it!

Where Are the Hidden Jobs?

You are looking for hidden jobs, which means they aren’t advertised. So how do you find them? You have to work this backwards. Who are the companies who could potentially hire you? Think about competitors, vendors, suppliers, and/or any other company that hires people to do what you want to do. This will require some research and this is where LinkedIn comes into play!

Search by Skills & Expertise

From the drop down menu “More” select Skills & Expertise. Enter in a key word for your work/occupation.

In your results you will see LinkedIn profiles of people with this skill and on the side you will see other related skills. See what companies they work for. These are potential employers, or target companies. Also note on the right side of the screen the “Related Companies” listed. Perhaps these are more targets. Go check them out.

And if you scroll to the bottom and you will notice recommended Groups on LinkedIn. If you are looking for industry groups to join, this could  be your ticket!

Search by Job Title

Use “Advanced People Search” to search by Job Title. (Use the job titles you have found during your research.) You may want to start by filtering your search by “current title only”. You can also filter your results by location. Take note of what companies these people work for and add those companies to your target list.

Searching Companies by Industry/Location Etc.

You can slide and dice a company search in many different ways:

  • Name
  • Location
  • Industry
  • Relationship (1st, 2nd, 3rd degree connections, or all LinkedIn members)
  • Size (number of employees)
  • Number of followers
  • Fortune 500 ranking

You may want to see who the employers are in your city. Or you may want to see where people you know work. Or you may know that you want to work for a small company. You can filter your search by one or many of these criteria to find potential employers (aka target companies).

Following Companies

You’ve developed a list of target companies. These are places you would like to work or at least you think you may. These are not necessarily companies that are posting jobs at this time. This list is any company that could potentially hire you because they have positions you could do!

With your list in hand, follow these companies!

Part of your regular routine is to monitor the updates of companies you are following. This is easily done by clicking on the “company” tab on your home page of LinkedIn.

Now that you are following companies, LinkedIn is smart enough to suggest other companies you may want to follow. This is similar to the function you have seen with recommendations of people to connect with.

Company Research

See who you are connected to (or should be connected to) in the companies you are following. LinkedIn makes this easy to do. When you look at the company profile, it shows you who you are connected to who works there!

Check out the company’s tabs. They will have Employee Insights, and maybe even products/services and Careers tabs.

You can also see a list of companies viewed by other LinkedIn users. It says: “viewers also viewed:” Chances are, the companies listed there are competitors or similar. See if you should add them to your growing target list! Then, follow them too! If you want to be extra sleuthy, you can see where employees used to work and where they went after. Again, more potential targets for you!

Now What?

Your mission now, should you choose to accept it is to make personal contact with people who work inside your target companies and schedule an informational meeting! You are seeking information about what is going on within the company. Your secondary mission is to get to know the person and have them get to know you so that when they have a job, you are the person they will call before it gets advertised!

Opportunities…Not Jobs

I have purposely NOT discussed the “Job” search functionality within LinkedIn. Searching for posted jobs certainly is possible and something you can do on LinkedIn. I am pretty sure you can figure this out. Tapping into the hidden job market is a proactive approach to finding your next job. Give it a try! See what new companies you can add to your target list and begin following for potential opportunities!

Are there other tricks or creative ways you are harnessing the power and accessing the data from LinkedIn? Leave a comment! Inquiring minds want to know!


For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at FreshTransition!

About the Author: A speaker and author providing no-nonsense career advice, Hannah guides job seekers and helps them navigate today’s treacherous job search terrain. Hannah shares information about the latest trends, such as reputation management, social networking strategies, and other effective search techniques on her blog, Career Sherpa. Follow Hannah on Twitter!



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