The ‘hidden' job market describes those vacancies which employers don't advertise yet still want to fill. Advertising a job can be costly and might generate many applications which can be time consuming to process. Some job sectors are so popular that the employer may receive enough speculative applications to fill any position.

It is estimated that 75% of posts for jobs are generally filled though the hidden job market.

Increasing your chances in the hidden job market

  • Do ensure that you have a clear understanding of the type(s) of work which you would like to undertake. You will be approaching potential employers and contacts so want to be well informed. Please read the information on researching a career for suggestions of the resources which may help
  • Keep up to date with industry trends and news through the national press, professional journals and professional bodies and trade association websites
  • Networking with friends, family, alumni Imperial and contacts in your chosen career or industry could enhance your chances by alerting you to where vacancies might occur and what employers are looking for
  • Target employers for whom you would like to work with speculative applications asking them to consider you for any vacancies. A well researched letter which is clearly aimed at that one company is likely to be more effective than a general mail shot
  • Attend relevant events, exhibitions and presentations
  • Consider approaching small and medium sized companies as well as the largest employers in the industry sector in which you would like to work
  • Consider taking temporary work, a job at a lower level or arranging some form of work shadowing or work experience in your ‘target' sector. This might help you find contacts and also get an idea of where and when permanent and internal company vacancies might be available
  • Unless you know they are definitely currently recruiting, don't directly ask for a job.  Ask instead for the chance to perhaps have a meeting to gather and exchange information. This will enable you to find out more about what they do and help you explore and plan your career options. You may also be able to find out how and when they might next be recruiting and what particular skills and experience they'll be looking for. You can then consider whether your skills, experience and expertise fit their requirements and whether there is any particular additional experience they'd recommend you gain - perhaps by working on a short-term project with them in the meantime