How to find hidden jobs

CV expert Emma Alkirwi has advice on how to find the jobs that are not advertised.

Stick man jumping between two jobs depicted by wooden blocks and piles of coins


Are you struggling to find the job you want after taking time out of the workplace or being made redundant? If so, how active have you been exploring the hidden job market? According to Forbes and other publications around 80% of all jobs out there are never actually advertised, they are hidden. Although this figure is frustrating there are many reasons for this:

  • Advertising is expensive:  If employers are receiving speculative applications on a regular basis and can compile a short list from this then they would be foolish to spend around £££ on a job advert or recruitment fees. (Hint: Make sure you are part of the speculative applications.)
  • Less work: This shortlist now compiled from speculative applications is less work for employers as they don’t need to sift through potentially hundreds of applicants. (Hint: the great news for you is there should or at least could be less competition for the job this way!)

So if these jobs are hidden how can you tackle them?

It is true that looking for work is a job in itself (or at least part of one) so it is important to be super organised.

  • Network: Be sure to attend those networking events as you don’t know who you will meet, what you have in common, and who they might be able to put you in touch with. Also be sure to connect with these people via LinkedIn (ensure you do this on a laptop or PC so you can include a personalised message – the app does not allow this unfortunately). Please also remember networking is reciprocal so if you can return the favour that goes a long way.
  • Word of Mouth: This is still one of the most successful ways of securing work. Ensure you get in touch with former colleagues, managers and friends and let them know you are seeking a new challenge. They might be able to put you in touch with the right person or better still organise a proper introduction or interview.
  • Recruitment Agencies: It is important to understand who the key recruitment agencies are in your field and establish a relationship with them. Remember some companies use one recruitment agency exclusively so it is important to work with two or three.
  • Keep a list: It is important to keep an up-to-date list of companies you are interested in working for. Try to find a key contact and then send them your details on a speculative basis. Also ensure you follow this up with a phone call after a few days, as all they can accuse you of is being enthusiastic.
  • Persevere: Finding a job takes time and nothing is going to happen overnight. You might experience some rejection but if you persevere the right opportunity will present itself!

Anyone who has had the chance to get out of the workplace for a day of volunteering will know how…

*Emma Alkirwi is the Managing Director of the CV Guru which is the leading service provider of professionally written CVs, LinkedIn Profiles, cover letters in the UK and they also provide specialist consultancy services. 

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