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Trinity College Dublin

Finding the Hidden Jobs Market

When there are no job adverts of interest to you you need to adopt the creative job search approach. This means that you take charge and manage the search in a way that brings you closer to the job you want. This approach is more pro-active than answering advertisements or sending out random CVs.

Features of the creative job search include accessing the hidden market, acquiring networking skills and developing an effective job search action plan.

Investigate the Hidden Market

6 out of 10 jobs are not advertised - they arise through the 'hidden market'. Discover your 'hidden market 'and do some of the following:

  • Contact the experts in the field, e.g. join the professional bodies.
  • Become a volunteer or get work-experience in that area.
  • Collect information, target relevant employers to find out more.
  • Keep up with the news in the area - begin to spot opportunities.
  • Carry out some networking interviews.

Networking Process

'More than 25% of people who find jobs through networking receive the referral from someone they meet once a year or less'.

Networking is a process through which you:

  • Make yourself and your aspirations known to as many people as possible so as to achieve your goals.
    Seek information and advice.
  • Meet people who may not be employers or even work in the area - but they may be able to help by suggesting how you find someone who does.

Why not contact graduates working in an area of interest to you? Use the Alumni Contact Database (including over 170 graduates with diverse careers who have agreed to be contacts for Trinity students and graduates) available in the Careers Information Centre, 7-9 South Leinster St.

Misconceptions - Networking

"I don't know anyone who can help - I have no contacts"

"Yes, you do!"

Throughout your life, you have known and are known to family, friends, their friends, team players, party goers, students, work mates, travel companies ... These are all contacts with contacts.

Let as many of these people know of your goal, ask them for their help and advice. Ask them if they know someone in the area of work who could be approached for advice ... now you are networking.

NB: Networking effectively is a key work skill.

Preparing for Networking Meetings

  • Do your research on the sector.
  • Be professional and business-like, without being a nuisance.
  • Be aware that time is precious; do not overstay your welcome.
  • Always write a thank-you letter.
  • Keep a 'Log Book' of all the information obtained including details of the contacts you have made.

What to ask at a Networking Meeting

Examples of what you could ask:

Topic: Selection - What do you look for when recruiting for X?

  • Academic qualifications
  • Personal qualities
  • Anything else?

Topic: Career Opportunities

  • What are my chances of getting into X?
  • What could I do to improve my chances?
  • Is there something else you feel I'm better suited to?

Topic: CV

  • Do you think this CV will get me the job?

Topic: Job Satisfaction

  • Do you think this is a good area to work in?
  • What do you like most? Like least about it?
  • How do you see this area of work changing in the future?

Never leave a networking interview without asking for someone else to follow up with.

Related Resources

  • Small to Medium Sized organisations are important recruiters in the Irish labour market. Remember Irish Small to Medium Sized Enterprises for networking opportunities and Small Firms Association.
  • Company directories are also useful to identify organisations across the sectors - www.kompass.ie and FAME, a database accessible via the Trinity Library.
  • Professional bodies active in your sectors of choice often have lists of members which can be helpful in identifying organisations you can target
  • For more related resources see the Resources section of this website.


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I wanted to let you know that I got the job in St Andrew's. I'm delighted. Thanks again for your advice which has been helpful not only for getting this job, but for getting me thinking more laterally about job opportunities.

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