Photo by Jeff Mikels

Discovering the Hidden Job Market

Around this time of year, fall foliage revives the campus energy with its stunning sights. Autumn in Arcadia is truly a soothing spectacle. I love breathing in the cool air as I walk to my classes, watching the leaves turn burnt orange and soon after scatter through the wind. This seasonal change is a sign that the holidays are on their way. This year, this change also means it is time to start signing up for classes for my last semester, and that I will be reaching the end of college. Soon, I would need to find a job.

After spring 2015, I will be one of the thousands of graduates hunting to find a job. This thought gives me anxiety. To help students find job opportunities, Arcadia University’s Office of Career Education offers programs such as resume building, career fairs, and career planning. I decided to attend their lecture “The Hidden Job Market.”

Interim Director of Career Education Mark Gress stated that 80 percent of open jobs are never posted online or otherwise made available to the public. I knew that many job openings are not made public, but I was shocked that the percentage was so high. I jotted down notes as he discussed the importance of networking as well as keeping in touch with companies you interview with even though you didn’t get the job. He mentioned that recruiters and hiring managers would often go to resumes on file when a position becomes available. He also recommended joining professional associations. The strategies for setting up informational interviews and finding people to network with were very informative.

After the lecture, I realized that finding a job would require a lot of work. Next semester, I would need to devote a few hours a week to networking and job searching. The presentation gave me great leads on how to start networking, but I knew it would be up to me to follow through with it.

Next semester, I hope to reach out to alumni from both Arcadia and the high school I attended to ask for informational interviews. I also plan to begin maintaining my relationship with past employers. Even though it’s going to be tough for me to get over my shyness, I also plan on attending professional association meet-ups. At my internship, I’ve already set up informational interviews with the publisher. I think I’ll prepare more questions to ask my editor and share my career plans for the future.

I wish that I had attended a Career Education presentation earlier in my college career. There were many underclassmen listening to the lecture that were looking for internships. The strategies Mark Gress shared with us could be used by anybody at any stage of career. Now that I have this knowledge, I feel that I have a leg up on the competition.

Photo by Jeff Mikels

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