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Finding a hidden job

Many students wrongly believe that applying formally for graduate training schemes is the only way to get a good job.

However, some sectors such as the media, the arts and high street law firms choose never to advertise, relying instead on the high number of speculative applications they receive annually – it is estimated that approximately 80% of jobs are not advertised publicly.

And even when they are, an inside market or hidden market has already been created by internal candidates or highly proactive people who get the position even before it’s been advertised.

Only 20% of the jobs available are visible, while 80% remain hidden, according to The Windmills Guide to finding a job by Dr Peter Hawkins. Recognising this 'iceberg factor' in your job search campaign is extremely important.

Be proactive and creative

In these cases a more proactive, creative approach to job search is required. For sectors such as marketing, PR, TV and radio, advertising, the music industry, publishing, this type of approach will be vital and involves thorough research of the employer you are targeting. You may also need to make a speculative approach.

If you're looking to work within publishing, for example, which roles are of most interest to you? Take time to research the organisation and mention current developments or recent projects which you have read about. You'll need to use your initiative through the process, demonstrating resilience, determination and patience.

Using social media in your job hunt

Social media is no longer just a useful way to keep in touch with friends and manage your social life. More and more, employers are developing their profiles and are using social media for marketing and recruitment purposes.

When looking for work experience or graduate opportunities, social media can help you:

  • develop contacts
  • enhance your professional reputation
  • find jobs which may not be advertised elsewhere.

The most common social media used in job hunting are LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Other professional networks include BraveNew and Xing. Skype is used more for job interviews, especially for those candidates who are overseas.

Find out more about creating a LinkedIn profile that effectively communicates your skills and experience.


For advice on finding a hidden job, please get in touch:

Careers and Employability