Tapping the Hidden Job Market

Your off-campus job search should neither begin nor end with jobs that are posted by employers. Studies have shown that only 15 percent of available jobs are ever advertised. It takes much more than merely perusing the classifieds. By employing a number of methods, you constantly increase your chances of landing a job. Some techniques you might use:




Probably the most effective way to meet potential employers and learn about possible jobs is to tap into your personal network of contacts. You might think it's early to have professional contacts, but think about everyone you know-family members and their friends/co-workers, professors, past employers, neighbors, and even your dentist. Don't be afraid to inform them of your career interests and let them know that you are looking for work. They will likely be happy to help you and refer you to any professionals they think can be of assistance. Be sure to have an up-to-date resume ready to share with contacts.


Informational Interviewing:


This approach allows you to learn more about your field by setting up interviews with professionals. The purpose of these interviews is to meet professionals, gather career information, investigate career options, get advice on job search techniques, and get referrals to other professionals. When setting up these interviews, whether by phone or email, make it clear to the employer that you have no job expectations and are seeking information only. Interviewing also familiarizes you to employers, and you may be remembered when a company has a vacant position.


Social Media


Increasingly, social media websites are used by job seekers and employers with available positions to make a job match. Many students are familiar with sites such as Facebook and Twitter, which are more personal in nature. We recommend that every job seeker take advantage of Linked, the fastest growing and most widely used social media site for professionals.

Temporary Work:


As more companies employ the services of temporary or contract workers, new graduates are discovering that such a move is a good opportunity to gain experience in their fields. Temporary workers can explore various jobs and get an inside look at different companies without the commitment of a permanent job. Also, if a company decides to make a position permanent, these "temps" already have made a good impression and often are given first consideration.


Online Job Search:

Most companies post their available positions online. It is recommended that you apply to positions you are interested in through company websites or job boards. Next follow up with the employer or contact to learn about the next steps in the hiring process. You can utilize your network of contacts or use social media to find the right contact. Remember, submitting your resume is only one step; follow-up & networking are just as important.


Persistence is the key to cracking the hidden job market. Additional strategies you can sue include attending meetings of professional associations and becoming an active member. After you begin the above processes, and your network base expands, your search will be made easier. Employers will appreciate your resourcefulness-and view you as a viable candidate.