The Hidden Job Market

Photo of a man and woman both wearing bright blue shirtsResearch shows that many employers do not openly advertise jobs for reasons including saving time and money. There are several strategies you can use to start to access the ‘Hidden Job Market’ – usually you would do more than one of these at the same time.


It is important before you start to do some research and determine the type of role(s) you are interested in. Make a list of employers - research on industry websites, databases, and company websites.


Networking is about building relationships and connections with others. Identify contacts through networks you already belong to begin with.

Start building your professional network:

Tap into your existing network

Tell everyone you know that you are looking for a job and the type of work you are looking for. It helps to brainstorm ideas with family and friends and write down the people you know who can help.

Build your network online

Create a professional profile on ‘LinkedIn’. Join relevant groups and start to follow discussions. Where appropriate start to contribute and ask questions. Use the Alumni tool to find La Trobe Graduates who are working in roles/companies of interest to you.

You can download the LinkedIn app from your app store.

Join a professional association

Check to see if there is a professional association related to your discipline (visit the Graduate Careers Australia website, use Google or ask your lecturers). Join as a student member, get involved and network! Also check if any relevant groups exist on campus. A list of clubs and societies can be found on the Student Union website.

Conduct some informational interviews

An Informational interview is a one on one conversation with an individual who has a job you might be interested in doing or who works in an industry or company you hope to enter. See the Informational interviews page for more information.

Find a mentor

The Industry Mentoring Program connects students with Industry based professionals, including La Trobe Alumni.

Many Professional Associations also run mentoring programs. The Career Ready Advantage Award includes opportunities for Mentoring, Volunteering, Internships and short courses aimed at increasing student employability.


Volunteering can not only help build your network but is also beneficial for enhancing your skills and assisting with learning about the organisation/industry.

Develop networking skills

Do some research on how to operate in a networking situation.

Develop a 60 second impression (sometimes called an ‘Elevator Pitch’). When asked ‘Tell me about yourself’ in a Networking situation be able to talk about 4 or 5 key relevant points.

Directly approach employers

Directly approaching an employer without a referral is called cold calling. Warm calling is if you have been referred by someone in your network. When cold calling it is important to contact a person who can help you, rather than an untargeted approach. The organisation’s website or LinkedIn may help.

Learn about Approaching employers.

Recruitment agencies

Employers often pay a recruitment agency to find appropriate personnel to fill staffing vacancies. Find out which recruitment agencies specialise in placing people in your discipline. Search for an agency on the Recruitment and Consulting Services Association website or through a Google search, or visit the job boards page.

Final tips

Finding a job, particularly in the hidden market, requires good research and preparation. To be successful in accessing the ‘Hidden Job Market’ you need to be both persistent and resilient.

Don’t aim only for your ‘ideal’ job or assume the job you find will be the ideal one. Be flexible and see each job as an opportunity to build your skills and experience and develop your network

Review your job search actions on a regular basis to identify what is and what is not working. Contact the Employability Programs Team if you need help (available up to one year after you graduate).