Finding a Job

8 ways to find hidden jobs

Find out how to track down those secretive jobs that aren’t advertised anywhere with this guide to the hidden job market.

Yes the economy has been through a rough patch but job opportunities are starting to pick up, and there’s still plenty of jobs out there for you!

It’s just a case of digging a little deeper and learning a few different ways to go about finding yourself a job, especially when it comes to those that aren’t easy to come across.

In fact, 80% of jobs aren’t actually advertised!

Here we’ll look at how you can use this to your advantage.

8 secret job hiding places exposed!

Friends, family and networking

As they say, it’s not what you know but who you know! It’s quite common to ask people how they got their job and have the response be ‘I got it through someone I knew’.

get networkingThough this may seem unfair on the surface you’d be surprised by just how many contacts you and your friends and family actually have.

Ask around! Talk about your job hunting to people and you’ll see that people are friendly and forthcoming. Family members especially won’t hesitate to help you out, and good friends will too. Try and find the ones that are well connected.

As an example, if your dad’s mate works in the industry that you’re interested in then just kindly ask your dad to put a word in for you or set up an informal meeting or interview.

You can also try attending local networking events where you’ll get to meet influential people in your area.

Volunteer work and shadowing

Shadow your bossThough the idea of an unpaid job may sound quite unappealing, the reality is usually far different. Volunteer work in your community can be very rewarding, give you important experience and teach you valuable skills. Not only this, but you will inevitably gain more contacts for the future who could get you a paid job!

Try and choose work that is either related to the field or industry you wish to be involved in or can give you relevant skills and experience. This could make quite a big difference when going to job interviews, and it also looks great on your CV.

A form of volunteer work that most students and grads don’t know about is ‘shadowing’. It’s not exactly the same as volunteering but it allows you to follow someone in a job for a couple of days or weeks to see how the business works.

Not only is this a great way to learn about your desired profession but again also an opportunity to get networking and prove yourself.

Work at your university

Most graduates don’t think about ever going back to work at the place where they studied, but if you dig just a little you’ll find an array of jobs that are open for both students and graduates alike. They could be in a variety of fields including telemarketing, hospitality, IT services and teaching.

Your university is also more likely to consider you for a role: a) because you have first hand experience, and b) they hate to see their graduates unemployed!

These jobs are therefore also quite popular so be sure to apply early and always be on the look out for job advertisements around campus and within your university email account.

If you’re not sure what jobs your university has on offer then get in touch with the careers service!

Scour the newspaper

Check the NewspaperSearching the job listing sections of the local paper is something that you’ll inevitably be doing, but there’s more to be gained from the newspaper than that!

Read about companies and businesses in your area that are expanding or investing and contact them directly.

This will give you the upper-hand when it comes to getting a job from them in the first place, as you’ve already demonstrated your eagerness to work as well as your personal initiative.

Similarly, if you notice a new manager or director has just been hired by a company then you can assume that they will be recruiting a team. It takes a little confidence but why not call up and throw your hat in the ring, what’s the worst that can happen?

Finally, sometimes in the paper they mention people who have moved on to another job. This is your chance to try and poach that job before they start recruiting and advertise the position (which they’ll have to pay for).

Freelance on the web

Online work is big business today as you can find a whole array of jobs ranging from writing, translation and photography all the way through to computer programming.

Sites such as are excellent ways to make contacts and enter certain circles that will increase your chances of getting a job offer.

Additionally, there are many freelance sites that allow you to work from home – such as Get searching and you’ll quickly see a vast variety of possibilities opening themselves up to you!

Start your own job

Graduate own bossLord Sugar started out selling cigarette lighters and TV aerials at the age of 21 and look where it got him to today!

Starting your own business is quite a feasible idea in the current economic climate. Being successful is about being organised, knowing the market and above all thinking outside the box!

It may not be for everyone but it’s definitely worth a shot. Approach people, send out flyers and leaflets that advertise the services or products you are selling them and you’ll quickly find your client list grow.

Remember that the original idea for your business is pivotal – if you’re plan on tackling a niche market then you must plan your actions carefully.

Though many people who attempt to start their own businesses don’t succeed in their initial expectations, every cloud has a silver lining and you will have at least learnt valuable key business and life lessons that you can add to your CV from the experience.

Career fairs

When you attend a career fair you need to realise that this is your chance to make yourself known among those who are looking to hire. It’s not just about picking up application form after application form, but instead you should converse, ask questions, and try to make yourself memorable so that when choices need to be made about who gets the job, you’ll have the upper hand.

If you get pally with someone who turns out to be the HR manager then you could be working your way into your dream job.

It’s also a great place to generally gain more information about sectors you may want to enter – so get informed! If you’re unsure about something, don’t worry too much about sounding stupid but just simply ask!


Go on a Gap YearIf you’re unsure about whether you want to immediately move into the job market or take a post-university gap year, why not combine both?

You’ll actually see that many people when travelling abroad find themselves so comfortable that they seek out work and quickly find it! This way they’re able to stay where they are and support themselves.

A common way to get a job abroad is to simply make friends with the right people – this means people who have contacts and have been in the area longer than you have.

You could work at a bar, restaurant or even at the hostel you are staying in. Hostel jobs are quite popular since guests and workers are usually changing frequently as people come and go over months and years. Once you’ve got a basic job, you may consider looking at building a career in another country.

There are also loads of opportunities to teach English abroad (we assume that you know English…).

Remember to also make use of our graduate job search engine which can also unearth some opportunities you may not otherwise come across!

Now it’s time for you to let us into your hidden job secrets below!