You would be surprised how much I am asked what the heck the hidden job market is and why it can help job-seekers make tremendous progress on their job search. (If you need a refresher on what the hidden job market is, check out this post.) Here are the top 8 reasons why the hidden job market works:

1. Employers will avoid posting a job if they can

Put yourself in their shoes; if you already know of a qualified candidate for a position, why would you post a job opening? Posting takes time, it is tedious, employers are often overwhelmed with the response, and often the need is met by referrals. Employers would rather hire someone they know than take a risk on an unknown.

2. Some employers do not know that they need you

Until you approach them, then they craft a specific position for you. For example, a potential employer may be lacking support in a few different areas such as marketing and administrative assistance, but has just delt with it until now. If you could fit perfectly in a multi-role position, it may be created just for you.

3. Many times, an industry’s best jobs are never posted

If a position is highly sought after, the employer or other employees at the company will refer someone that they know; the employer will not have to create additional demand by posting the job. The only way to access these jobs is to know the right people in order to be the referral.

4. All jobs were hidden at one point in time

The need to fill a position is there prior to the posting of the position. By getting to those jobs before they are published you increase your odds of being the hired candidate.

Also see video: How to Find Jobs Before They are Published

If professionals in your industry know you and view you as even a semi-qualified candidate, they will frequently refer you before searching for an exceptional but unknown candidate. This is the risk adverseness of human nature; humans by nature are scared of the unknown.

5. Once jobs are part of the published market, employers have access to numerous candidates

Your competition will be calling, following up, sending cards, and be willing to do free internships.the increased competition dramatically decreases your chances of landing the position.

6. When employers are shown hundreds of applicants they can decrease pay and benefits

With a big demand, employers can lower pay and benefits and still have qualified candidates that will take the job. It is not a job-seekers market when unemployment is high, it’s an employer’s market.

7. It is difficult to differentiate yourself in the published job market

To the person making a hiring decision, you are just a résumé, and not an individual with the ability to differentiate yourself.

These days, many résumés sent in response to job postings are filtered by word searches and algorithms, making it difficult for you to set yourself apart from the crowd. Even if it is manually reviewed, most résumés look the same and paper is the only tool to communicate your passion, fit, and skills.

8. A college degree does not make you unique or qualified anymore

Undergraduate and graduate degrees are more prevalent than ever before in history. (Tip: Do more Internships)