Over 50 Job Hunter: The “Hidden” Job Market

Networking should haves.

Some days I look back on my life, and my experiences, and just want to bang my head against a wall.  With working and family and life in general, I did not develop my business network. I did not write down the names of my acquaintances. I did not think at age 50+ I would be back on the street looking for a job. Who new I would need a network to find the hidden job market?  I had a job I thought I would retire from. And I am not alone.  Many of us seem to find ourselves in the same boat.

Looking back, at age 50+, laid off after 26 years with a company I helped build; there are a lot of “I should haves”. I should have known that one day I might need to find another job. I should have been smart enough to spend more time building a network.  Should have… I could write another entire blog site on should haves, and probably never run out of things to write about. However, engaging in should haves gets you no where fast.

80% of available jobs are never listed to the public job market.

According to several recent articles, including this one by Forbes, 80% of open jobs are never listed on the job boards.  It makes sense if your think about it, because it saves the company time and money.  Fill the job from within the company, or use an employee recommendation. It’s a win win for the employer.


You are your job now. Market yourself!

Today, if you are an over 50 job hunter, (or under 50 for that matter), you may want to try and crack the hidden job market.  Networking is the key. If you are serious about finding a job you have to market yourself.  If you use the published job postings, then you are only tapping 20% of what is available!  While you are writing your resume, searching for jobs, and taking time to reflect, consider who you know that can help. Research companies online Marketing2to see if you want to target specific ones that appeal to you.  I like and trust Forbes, and I read their articles frequently.  Here is an article regarding top employers for 2017 that you might want to consider.  Then here is a list some things to get you started.

  • Read the links provide in this post.
  • Let your friends help.  Let your friends know you are looking.
  • Look at networking differently.  Everyone you meet could lead you to that next job.
  • Join professional net working groups or meetups.  Check your computer to see what is available in your area.
  • Take the bull by the horns and contact the employers directly.  Use LinkedIn, sign up for alerts at specific companies when a job becomes available. Attend trade conferences.

Finally, the list above is not definitive. Step outside of the proverbial box, and consider some possibilities you might not have thought about.  For instance, consider purchasing yourself some business cards.  They need only be simple with your name and contact information.  When you talk to people, let them know you are available, and give them a card.  I have had good luck with online companies like Vistaprint. They are quick, easy to use and affordable.  Study marketing an apply the principles to yourself.

Related reading links:

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