How to Apply for Jobs that Don’t Exist

How to Apply for Jobs that Don’t Exist
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About the Author

Laura Machan

Laura Machan

Laura Machan is a Partner, Recruitment Solutions for a major human resources consulting firm based in Toronto, Ontario. Although she has been recruiting for quite a few years, she still gets a big thrill from calling someone to set up an interview and an even bigger thrill when she hears a happy dance as she tells them when their new job starts. Laura lives with her family in Oakville, where she has lived for over 25 years, and is a significant contributor to the Canadian Federation of University Women - Oakville and Women in Nuclear, Golden Horseshoe Chapter.

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It is a good idea to keep up with jobs being posted in your industry. You can set up alerts on indeed or LinkedIn or use a site like Follow That Page.

If you see something good, apply. That’s career management 101.

But if you are really looking to make a change, you need to be way more proactive.

The hidden job market is not hidden because the recruitment process is secret. It is hidden because people get hired for roles that had not been created.

Say you have had three progressive roles where you fixed some important stuff. You have great stories to tell about big impact projects, corralling the experts, and the dollars to get the projects to the finish line.

You were able to convince and cajole people to adopt the new way and now it is a standard practice.

This is a totally scalable achievement. You can be a coordinator or a vice president – it all counts.


If this is if the kind of challenge that gets you up and excited every day, then you need to find somewhere else to do it. It might be another department in your current organization or if that is tapped out, you might need to go somewhere else.

It is not too bold to email or leave a voice mail for a senior leader in a target company letting them know that you have fixed some pretty big stuff, especially if you do some homework first.

Read industry news, blogs, association websites, regulatory websites, Glassdoor, anywhere you can find the things that are going wrong in companies. This is where opportunity lies.

A company that has just had a recall, for example, may not have had time to go through the process of posting a job. It seems pretty likely that if a VP of Quality got a message from someone who had great industry cred dealing with similar challenges would respond; and it would be pretty quick.

This is where the really great career moves come from and to quote my colleague, Lisa Knight, you need to manage your career, not let it manage you.



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