Are You Missing Out on Hidden Jobs? Here’s How to Find Them.

Are you in the midst of the job or internship search, scouring online job boards for your next opportunity with little success?

Here’s an eye-opening statistic: at least 70% and up to 80% of jobs are never advertised online.

With the major job search engines like Indeed, Monster, and Glassdoor that have companies listing new job opportunities on an hourly basis, it can be hard to believe that the majority of positions available are never advertised. Additionally, considering the fact that hundreds of applications are received for each position, there’s no question why the job search is time-consuming and often frustrating. So how and where are the majority of available positions being filled?

Over 50% of jobs are filled by internal candidates before an online advertisement is ever made on the company website or job board.

Recruiters work with multiple teams, and the hiring process - from mutually deciding a specific department needs additional support, to developing a comprehensive job description, to actually advertising the opportunity online - is a tedious process that can take many months. In that time-frame, positions are regularly filled through word-of-mouth and networking, meaning countless candidates are missing out on job opportunities by relying solely on an online job search.

The most beneficial step that students and recent graduates can take to discover these hidden job opportunities is to broaden their network in their target industry and openly communicate career goals.

Here are a few ways to get started.

1. Attend networking events

Attending networking events as a student or recent graduate with little to no work experience can be intimidating, but also one of the most beneficial ways to meet professionals that will allow you to gain that experience. Local networking opportunities can be easily found through an online search or campus career centers and can be one of the most productive steps to learning about hidden opportunities.

2. Request informational interviews

After researching ideal companies, don’t hesitate to email decision makers via the company website or LinkedIn to express your interest in the company mission and desire to learn more about the industry through an informational interview. In many cases, genuine interest and ambition captures the attention of hiring managers more than experience on an application.

3. Join a professional association

Joining a professional association in your field will not only provide learning opportunities and networking events, but members will also be the first to discover and be considered for available jobs with the associated organizations. These can connect emerging professionals to lifelong relationships with the potential to lead to transformative career advancement.

4. Practice Your Elevator Pitch

Learn to effectively communicate who you are professionally. Unless you can confidently and concisely articulate who you are, what you do and your ultimate career goals, networking won’t provide the optimal results. You never know when you’re going to run into a potential connection, so preparation and practice is key.

5. Link your portfolio to your social media

Networking through social media is progressively common. An online portfolio is not only your digital business card, it’s your personal brand, and an increasing number of companies are expecting candidates to provide one. Whether you’re in a creative field or not, there are ways to showcase your work that will display your value as a candidate and differentiate you from the competition.

6. Find a mentor

Once you secure an informational interview, develop and strengthen the professional partnership and continue to learn as much as possible, whether that’s through meetups, offering to assist with projects as needed, or an internship.

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