Discovering hidden job opportunities

While online and print ads are the primary way employers connect with job seekers, nearly a third of all jobs are not advertised.

Here are some tips to unearth these hidden jobs.

Use your networks

Everyone has a network to draw on — even if you don’t think you have one.  For instance, your neighbour, former colleague, supervisor, mentor or friend could well be the first people to contact in your network. The people around you may know of a job opening or know others with upcoming opportunities.

How to approach your network

There are many ways you can seek out your network to scope out jobs on the horizon. Ask about their career experiences and listen for tips. This way, you’ll gain insights about their background and lay the foundation that you are interested in seeking work.

Seek a recommendation or reference

Another good tool is seeking a recommendation or reference from someone in your network. Their endorsement carries weight and employers hire on this basis. For example, this could be a good word from a former colleague, boss or client or a recommendation on LinkedIn.

Approach a business or employer directly

According the 2018 Jobs Australia Report, 11 per cent of jobs are created by potential employees directly canvassing work from an employer. If you’re considering this option, make sure you have done some research about the employer you’re interested in.

To approach employers, you can:

  • drop in your CV/resume to them with a short covering letter outlining why they should hire you
  • call up the employer to find out more about them and register your interest
  • send an email to them with your CV/resume with a short covering statement
  • approach them on their social media page – this could be by posting something on their wall/tweeting them or sending them a private message.
  • make sure your covering letter and CV/resume are tailored to the specific job you’re looking for and the particular business you’re approaching.

Get in touch with a recruiter

Getting in touch with a recruitment agency is another way you can get closer to finding work. Many employers rely on recruiters to present them with candidates to fill positions. Many of these positions aren’t widely advertised. It’s a good idea to contact several recruitment consultants, as this will improve your chances of being connected with the right employer.

Contact a jobactive provider for advice about employment opportunities

Another source of guidance available to you is your local jobactive provider if you are a registered participant. They can assess your skills and circumstances to see whether various employment programs such Career Transition Assistance, Regional Employment Trials or the National Work Experience Program are suitable for you.

The new job market

The way employers look for workers is changing. Internet recruitment has been in place for some time and employers increasingly use social media or mobile apps as a way of connecting with potential workers. It’s important to understand the recruitment processes in your occupation and you may need to adapt your job search techniques.

Many job vacancies are advertised online. For example Facebook ‘job groups’ have grown in popularity, offering a free online forum for employers to advertise vacancies and job seekers to find employment.

If you aren’t confident applying for jobs online or haven’t considered online job searching, get some advice and support from a trusted colleague, friend or coach.

Many employers also use technology to research candidates online, conduct video interviews, or simulate work environments, so make sure your personal online profile is positive or set to private.