The hidden job market


The hidden job market contains job vacancies that are available but haven't been advertised.

Experts say it's a large part of the job market. Only half of all job vacancies are advertised in the media or through job search websites. That means half of all available jobs don't get advertised.

Tapping into the hidden job market

Applying for a job that hasn't been advertised can improve your chances of getting that job. If it hasn't been advertised, then less people will know about it, which means that less people will apply for it, which means that you're competing against fewer people.

So how do you find out about these unadvertised jobs? There are a variety of ways to tap into the hidden job market, including networking and cold calling.


A network is simply a group of people that you know, and the people that they know, and the people that they know, and so on. You've heard the expression, 'I heard about it from a friend of a friend'? That's an example of networking.

Your family and friends and their extended networks might know about jobs that are currently available or about to become available. They might be able to let you know how to apply for that job before it gets advertised.

Because advertising jobs is an expensive and time-consuming process, employers often approach their networks first and rely on referrals to find the right person.

If you're looking for a particular kind of job, let the people in your networks know. They might be able to refer you to an employer who's looking for someone just like you.

Cold calling

Cold calling means contacting companies directly to find a job. It can be scary at first, but most people react well and offer encouragement and further leads. If you are polite, very few people in business will bite your head off for trying.

It's likely you'll get knocked back by a lot of the people you call, but don't give up. Cold calling is worth all the trouble in the world if it pays off in the long run and gets you a job, or even just an interview.

Find out more about what cold calling is. And learn how to make it work for you in our article Cold calling - tips for success

Links for finding those hidden jobs

Australian JobSearch - Search for Job Characteristics
This site will help you find out the skills that you need in a particular job.

Seek - Exploring The Hidden Job Market
Tips and strategies for finding jobs that aren't advertised.

My Career - Cold Call Cover Letter Sample
This sample cover letter shows you how to apply for jobs that aren't advertised.