Are you fully exploring the Hidden Job Market?

We are finding that too many people continue to concentrate on the advertised job market when searching for a job and yet the evidence points to most jobs being unadvertised.

Why is this? In my experience it could be for any one of the following reasons:

  • You have not heard of the Hidden Job Market and so do not understand or appreciate its power and it’s potential.
  • You were told by someone else to look for jobs online. Quite probably your parents, friends or work colleagues. In other words you are relying on other people’s experience when the reality may be that you they or you may not have had the benefit of sound advice from someone who understands the job market.
  • You do it because that is the way you secured a job last time. That may make sense but it may be that several years have now elapsed since and in that time the job market has changed as well.
  • You believe that the more jobs you apply for the more chance that one of them will be right. There is positive feeling that comes from hitting the apply button but what happens after that?
  • You are lazy or busy and are purely just going through the motions of looking for a job. There may be some sense in this approach if you are in a job and are not actively looking. You want to test the market and see what is out there by putting a few feelers out there and registering your CV on a job board. But what if nothing happens after that? What do you do? Also do you have a plan B and if so does it involve any proactive action?
  • Maybe a combination of all of the above.

The job market has changed and our research has revealed some interesting statistics which will have a strong bearing on your chances of success if you rely purely on the traditional advertised job market (recruitment agencies, job boards and advertisements).

One activity that can generate success in the hidden job market is sending out speculative letters – to the right contacts – and although knowing what a speculative letter looks like can help, following some steps to make it useful is even better. The whole point of a speculative letter is to bring your skills and availability to the attention of someone who needs your skills and has a position available.

3 Tips to using a speculative letter

  1. Know your audience. Target your letter to a specific person, which means finding out the name of the HR manager or the department head. It also means using the same language as your audience – you can probably ‘talk technical’ to an IT Director, but not to the HT Manager.
  2. Focus on the key points. How can you help the organisation or the person you’re writing to? What are they interested in? What do they need? How can you help?
  3. Presentation matters. Envelopes and paper matter – they say something about you. You’re selling yourself, so make sure there are no spelling or grammar mistakes. Keep the letter to one page and use a reasonable size and style font

Producing a speculative letter when you’ve never even heard of one is a challenge, so we’re pleased to offer you the opportunity to download the Gateway Speculative Letter.

For more information why not contact us at, email us at or contact us on 0845 459 0035.

Gateway Career Management is owned by Peter Wilford and offers a complete range of products and services and support programmes from one to one careers advice and support with career change and help with career transition to a fully personally and tailored career management programme. Click here to visit the website and here to follow the company on Linkedin.

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