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The SCDC Update

Occassionally, we will share tools and tips on enhancing your job search from the Steinbright Career Development Center (SCDC). Alumni are encouraged to send comments, questions or suggestions for future column topics to alumni@drexel.edu.


Using the Hidden Job Market to Find Jobs
August 2013

It's no secret: looking for a job can be hard. Many recall their job search and wonder how they ever made it through. Many more are content to stay in a job they do not like simply because they would rather avoid going through a job search again. For those who are looking, they often have to sort through thousands of posted positions, only to find a handful that they find remotely interesting. Little do they know that those few jobs are only the tip of the job search iceberg.

Even though we can find millions of posted jobs, they may only represent a fraction of the total job market. According to Steven Rothberg of CollegeRecruiting.com, more than 80% of job openings are actually unlisted! This means that for every posted job, there are up to four others that are not posted but are still being actively recruited for. This is often referred to as the "Hidden Job Market." How can you take advantage of these jobs? There are a number of things you can do:

  • Networking

    With any job search, networking is important. But it can become even more vital when trying to find opportunities in the Hidden Job Market. Most people who are hired for these positions never apply for them. They are considered either from their applications for other positions or from their connections within the company. Therefore, it is extremely important to continue to build and strengthen your network with employers even if it appears they are not actively hiring.

    One of the best ways to build your network connections is by utilizing the social networking site LinkedIn. LinkedIn has a number of Tutorials and Webinars to help you make the most of its services. You can also build your face-to-face network by attending professional association meetings and events. Bring business cards with you and expect to take others' home with you. Develop your 30-Second Commercial, otherwise known as an Elevator Speech, as a way to introduce who you are and what you are looking for. Attending one of Drexel's biannual Career Fairs is a great way to meet with employers from many different industries. The next Career Fair will be held on Thursday, October 3 from 10 a.m. to 3p.m. in the Armory.

  • Targeting Companies

    Target companies that you would like to work for, even if they do not have any positions currently available. Contact your targeted companies to ask about employment opportunities. If possible, find contacts within the department you would like to work for and conduct informational interviews to learn about their positions or the company. This type of introduction can show initiative and express the enthusiasm for working at the company. Just make sure to not overdo it.

  • Make Your Résumé & Cover Letter Shine

    Make sure that your résumé and cover letter make you stand out from the crowd. Even if you are not hired for the position you apply for, a strong résumé, cover letter or interview can make an impression that can put you at the top of the list for another position. For tips on how to improve your résumé, check out the many résumé writing resources in the Hagerty Library’s Résumé Writing Career Guide or meet with a Career Counselor to receive individualized resume help. If you are interested, please contact the Steinbright Career Development Center at 215.895.2185 to schedule an appointment.

All of these strategies can allow you take advantage of the Hidden Job Market by making yourself stand out like the talented candidate you are. To learn more about how you can improve your job searching skills, feel free to visit the Career Services Library Assistant's Reference Page and the Professional Pointers section of the Steinbright website for career guides and helpful hints on these topics and more. Remember, companies are always looking to recruit good talent, regardless of if there are any current openings. By making yourself appealing to them, they will have no choice but to consider you for a position whether it is posted or not.

About the Author

Brendan Johnson
Career Services Library Assistant
Drexel University

Brendan Johnson is the Career Services Library Assistant at Drexel University. Working with both the Steinbright Career Development Center and W. W. Hagerty Library, he collects and manages career books and electronic resources to assist Drexel students and alumni with their career searches. Brendan has a bachelor's degree in history and education from Villanova University and will be completing his master's in library and information science from Drexel University this September 2013.

Issue Archive

April 2011
The Job Search Process


alumni@drexel.edu