Finding unadvertised jobs

Did you know that few jobs are actively advertised?

When you surf Seek NZ it might feel like a lot of jobs get advertised, but it's estimated that more than half of all jobs are never advertised anywhere. That's the "invisible job market". It's a great place to get a job, because when jobs aren't advertised, employers have fewer applicants to choose from – so you have a better chance of winning that job. The big challenge is – how do you find all those hidden, invisible job opportunities?

First of all, you still need to make yourself a good candidate. Use our resources to polish your CV and make sure you are clear about your skills, interests and career ambitions.

Then, to find invisible jobs, research companies and industries, network and make contacts and conduct informational interviews.

Research companies and industries


If you know what kind of work and companies you’d like to work for, start finding out about them. Read their websites, find out about them in the news, read their media releases and annual reports. Find out who are their competitors, customers and suppliers. Then figure out if you know anyone through your contacts who work in those companies and ask for an introduction to meet and learn more. Tell them how keen you are to work there.

If you can't find a way to meet anyone who works at a company you're interested in, send them a CV and letter. Enquire about possible work now or in the future, regardless of whether they have a vacancy. Make a follow up telephone call to the person you sent the letter and ask if you can meet for advice on how to find a job in their company or industry.

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Network


Networking is about asking for advice and information and is an effective way of getting help and support. It's not about asking for a job. The contacts you make and advice you receive can help you make good career decisions and find job opportunities.

Tell everyone you know that you are looking for work and ask if they know anyone you can talk to who might have information on careers and/or jobs in your field of interest. Don't be shy. Tell everyone. Don't ask them to give you a job – ask them if they know anyone who might know of jobs or opportunities? Who can give you advice as you start your career?

Do you know anyone who graduated a few years ago? Older brothers or sisters or cousins? Friends or acquaintances? What are they doing now? And how did they get there? Have you ever asked them? It's a story they'd probably love to tell you. You'll probably still learn something useful from them to help you find a good first job after University.

Also, if you've got some ideas about what kind of work you'd like, do you know anyone who's working in that field? Even if they're not doing exactly the kind of work you'd like, or working for exactly the kind of company you'd like to work for, they probably have some great advice about how people get the kind of jobs you want and what might suit you.

Final tips:

  • If you contact people and ask them if they can help you find a job and they're not in a position to recruit you – it can sometimes make them feel uncomfortable.
  • If you ask for a short meeting and their advice about how you can learn more about their job, industry or how their career developed you are more likely to get a constructive response.
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Set up an informational interview


An "informational interview" is a meeting in which you ask for career and industry advice rather than asking for a job. Use these meetings to get information, find job leads and expand your network.  

  • When you meet with someone through your networking, treat it as a job interview – only one where you ask more of the questions.
  • Prepare accordingly - there's lots of online advice to help you plan and prepare what questions you want to ask about their work and career, how they got into the company/field, and what advice they can give you.
  • And of course, dress smartly, arrive on time and thank them for their advice and help - you want everyone you meet during your job search to have a good impression of you so they will recommend you to other people.
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Attend the 'Job search strategies' and 'Networking strategies' workshops


For further information register and attend both the 'Job search strategies' and the 'Networking strategies' workshops. You can view workshops and registration details on our Book a workshop page.

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Other useful resources and information


For more information about how to navigate the invisible job market, check out some of these websites which we have selected to help you:

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