Hidden jobs

Many jobs are never advertised. To find these, you need to make "speculative contacts". This means getting in touch with employers to ask whether they have a suitable job now or in the near future.

To find "hidden" jobs, you need to be creative – and patient. Keep going, even if lots of employers tell you they do not have any work. Every contact you make can help you to build up your knowledge and confidence about the local job market. And this helps to increase your chances.

To decide who to contact, try the following:


You can learn about the local job market from the people you speak to.

  • Ask your family and friends if they know of any jobs in companies where they work. Ask them if they know anyone who works in a company you would like to work in.
  • Find local employers who might offer the type of job you are interested in. Use the internet or your local library to look in the Yellow Pages, the Thomson Directory and any local, regional or national trade directories. (See also job search on the internet.)
  • Find employers or relevant groups on Facebook or other social networking sites.
  • Read local papers or business websites to find out about companies: winning new contracts, building new premises or anything that might mean they are expanding and likely to be taking on new staff.
  • Go to job or careers fairs, talk to people there, and take away information and contact details.

Once you have worked out who to contact, you can get in touch with the company in person, by phone or email, or by post. Visit our pages on speculative applications to find out how to do this.

Useful websites

Here are some more websites with information and tips for finding hidden and advertised jobs:

Alec – Job hunting methods
This website has lots of articles about job-hunting. (It has some adverts and paid-for services, but the careers information is free.)
Employment 4 students – Job search, advice and information
The site is aimed at students but also has useful general information about finding and applying for work. The articles about student jobs include some unusual and interesting ideas for young people looking for work. You can also search for specific types of jobs or by city/area.
National Careers Service – Networking
More information about finding jobs through networking.
My World of Work – Networking
This site also has useful tips for finding work through networking.

Last updated 14 February, 2018