How to find the jobs that are not advertised

Many job vacancies are never actually advertised. Here's how to find those hidden jobs.

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An increasing number of jobs are never actually advertised. These are some of the most effective ways of finding those hidden jobs.


Many graduates find opportunities through contacts they have made themselves, such as friends, relatives, tutors, past students, or people they have met through their leisure interests, voluntary work, casual part-time jobs or work placements. Developing an industry network list is also important: talk to people working in your chosen career area, who will be able to advise you on the best ways to get into the profession.

Strategies for networking

  • Shadowing: shadowing someone for a day will give you an insight into their role and create more networking opportunities.
  • Join professional bodies and organisations: attending appropriate events will help you meet people in your chosen field.
  • Meet alumni: alumni working in sectors you want to join will be able to give you advice, and point you towards more help and support.
  • Find a mentor: develop a relationship with someone who can give you advice and support on your job search.
  • Use social networks: LinkedIn is the best for promoting a professional image.
  • Word of mouth: tell everyone that you are looking for work – the more people that are looking on your behalf the better.

Speculative applications

Speculative applications are the principal method of recruitment for some employers. You will need to identify those you are interested in, research their business thoroughly, and make direct contact with them highlighting your suitability and interest in working for them. Keeping up to date with developments in your chosen field, for example who has won tenders and awards, will help you identify suitable organisations to target.

Work experience

As well as improving your CV, work experience placements can turn into graduate job offers. Having observed the quality of your work, an employer can hire you with confidence. This is a particularly good strategy for areas of work such as media, the arts and the not-for-profit sector that don’t usually advertise graduate jobs. Voluntary work or a temporary job in the sector that interests you can also give you a ‘foot in the door’.

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