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Hidden job market

Up to 80% of all jobs are never advertised on the open market and are filled through internal advertising, speculative applications, word of mouth or through contacts. How can you access these vacancies?

Internal vacancies

  • Temporary work can give you access to internal vacancies. Profile your skills, establish contacts and build a reputation.
  • Networking can help you access information and identify future opportunities.

Speculative applications

  • Speculative applications are most effective if you research the organisation thoroughly before sending off your application. Target your CV and cover letter, identifying the benefits you could bring.
  • Find out where new projects have been awarded and which departments are short-staffed. Make contact before new jobs are advertised and offer your services freelance or on a trial basis.


  • Let others know what you are looking for - ask them to identify contacts and opportunities.
  • Previous employers, past lecturers and colleagues may help you. Think about contacts made at conferences and events.
  • Join a professional association and look for work-shadowing. Do target organisations have open days or visits?
  • Use employer presentations and careers fairs to investigate possible job roles.

Advertise yourself

  • Write articles for professional journals, trade magazines and relevant media.
  • Use professional blogs and network sites and ensure your web presence is up-to-date and appropriate.

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