Searching for a job has gotten easier in the digital era.
Instead of having to hunt through print newspaper listings, most ads can found on just a few major sites. It's easy enough to set an alert on Indeed.com to have nearly everything out there sent directly to your inbox each day. In some cases, that can be supplemented with an industry-specific source, like teachers-teacher.com for educators or journalismjobs.com for media professionals.
Most ads, however, are not all ads. And whether you are out of work, just entering the job market, or plan to quit your job, it's important to look beyond just the easy sources. There are job listings which don't end up on the major apps and websites, and there are some that never get listed anywhere.
Check company websites
Many companies, especially ones that rarely have openings, as well as larger ones that usually have tons of them, tend to list jobs first on their own websites. In many cases, this means those jobs get filled before the general public even knows the openings exist.
In some situations, bigger companies run ads for jobs that aren't actually open. For example, a large technology company may generally have a need for coders, and run an ad to collect candidates for when a specific position become available.
Make a list of companies you want to work at, bookmark their careers pages, and check back often. That could lead to your resume getting looked at before in a much smaller pool than if you don't see the job until after it's listed on a major site.
Many job searchers looking for work that's above entry level don't consider this online classifieds site a potential source. That's a mistake, because while many posts on the site are low end, or even scams, there are occasionally some real, higher-level jobs.
A few years ago, before I went back into writing full time, I landed two consulting jobs based on ads on Craigslist. In both cases, the companies were looking to hide their searches from incumbent staff. One of those consulting jobs led to a full-time job for my wife, and the other resulted in me working full-time running a group of rock band summer camps.
Work your network
In some cases, when people need a job, they are too embarrassed to share that information widely. Don't be. Anyone you have ever met and have a good relationship with might be the connection that leads to that new gig.
That's why building a network of contacts is so important, but even if you haven't put that work in, make it public that you are "looking for your next opportunity." Even posting to your social media network might lead to someone pointing you in the right direction.
Work every angle
Most job searchers use traditional tactics. If you hope to get hired, consider them the competition. That means doing anything possible to stand out or to put yourself into play before others get in on the action.
Use all these tactics to find hidden and semi-hidden job listings, but also work other angles. Send a cover letter and resume to places that aren't hiring now (acknowledging that you hope to be considered for future openings). Put yourself out there, and shake every tree. That could help you get a foot in the door at companies where the door hasn't even been opened yet.
The $16,122 Social Security bonus most retirees completely overlook If you're like most Americans, you're a few years (or more) behind on your retirement savings. But a handful of little-known "Social Security secrets" could help ensure a boost in your retirement income. For example: one easy trick could pay you as much as $16,122 more... each year! Once you learn how to maximize your Social Security benefits, we think you could retire confidently with the peace of mind we're all after. Simply click here to discover how to learn more about these strategies.
The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.