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Trinity College Dublin

Find the Hidden Jobs

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.

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.

Career Network

A database of former Trinity undergraduates and postgraduates, who have volunteered to share their experiences of employment, further study and living abroad, anything career related really. This is not a way to look for jobs but rather to enable you to search for and connect with alumni to ask them about their career experiences and to seek their advice on areas of interest to you. Students value reading graduate profiles and contacting volunteers for more career advice and information.

Students can use the Career Network to find out about:

  • a specific company/ organisation
  • a particular job role
  • employment sectors

and seek inspiration on:

  • what to do with a degree subject
  • living abroad
  • options for further study

So sign up to Career Network today!

What can I ask a volunteer?

Volunteers can provide behind the scenes information about a company, an occupation, a specific job or postgraduate course, as well as creating useful opportunities for networking. Eg what is it actually like to work at a particular company, or what skills/ interests do you really want to see in job applicants?

The volunteers on the Network won't be able to offer students a job, but they can often offer advice about work experience, or recommend further contacts within their organisation.

What sectors are included?

Volunteers represent a broad range of occupations, from journalism, publishing and music sectors to business, law and medicine sectors. A variety of occupations and roles is covered and this is expected to grow as more graduates join the network.


Related Resources

  • Manage Your Job Search Creatively - get an overview of this workshop to start developing your own creative strategies.
  • Career Network - The Career Network is now available on Front Gate Online, it facilitates career planning and research for alumni and students, allowing you to share experiences and learn from each other online. Register now and start networking!
  • CAS Occupational Surveys (in relevant occupational folders) conducted in Ireland are useful sources of information on employers recruiting graduates. The following sectors were surveyed: publishing, international development, medical device, pharmaceutical/ chemical/ bio industry, environmental consultancy.
  • 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 - and
  • Professional bodies active in your sectors of choice often have lists of members which can be helpful in identifying organisations you can target
  • Read Networking for postgraduate students
  • Further resources for networking
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You've guided me through some fairly scary decisions and situations as I've moved towards finding a career for myself... We're enormously lucky to have you as a Careers Adviser in Trinity and you've had a really positive effect on my life. Many thanks.

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