The post 75% of Jobs Are Not Advertised explains how the hidden job market is comprised of cold calling and networking. These two methods make up the hidden job market, and networking makes up the majority of that percentage so get out there and start meeting people.
Where can you find these contacts? Well, there are many networking groups in Buffalo & WNY. The majority are found at One-Stops, the Department of Labor, which are free and open to the public. These are different than networking events because they usually meet once a week, and networking events are usually more sporadic in nature.
One great way to network is to do it with employed workers. Networking with other unemployed people is a good start, but you should really try to network with employed contacts who can recommend you for a position and more. The Buffalo News includes a Business Calendar of upcoming networking meetings/events in the Business Section of the Sunday paper. You can find it online here (use the top result as that will be the latest calendar).
Another great method to network is to go to social events. There you will be more relaxed, confident, and comfortable talking about your situation and making people know that you are job hunting. Just like more deals are done on the golf course than in the board room, it may be said more jobs are found at social functions than on job boards. Go to meetings associated with your line of work. Some examples are The American Marketing Association, College Alumni functions, or join a group for something you are interested in.
A great website to meet other enthusiasts like yourself is Meetup.com. On the website just type in your zip code and browse through the groups. If you feel there isn’t something for you, then start your own group. Groups include Business Networking, Wine Enthusiasts, Avid Book Readers, Web Developers, and more! This website is a safe and fun way to meet new people with similar interests as you so don’t miss out.
Check out the Job Seeker networking groups post to get a list of Buffalo & WNY networking groups specifically tailored for unemployed workers.