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There's more to finding a job than surfing the ‘net’!

These are the famous words career advisors state on a daily basis to current students and recent graduates.  These words are followed by friendly suggestions to expand to a well-rounded job search strategy.  A well-rounded job search strategy is critical for career success and involves the 3 E’s for excelling:  EXPLORE, EXPERIENCE and ENGAGE


Target your job search on a few occupational areas and explore how you might go about finding specific opportunities within the Visible Job Market and the Hidden Job Market.

Visible Job Market = job opportunities that are advertised or posted – approximately 15-20% of the available jobs are visible!  The job seeker makes contact with the employer to apply for a job openings through:

  • SFU Career Services:  full-time, part-time, contract, summer, casual, and co-op viewed on Symplicity

  • Various Job Posting Services (Jobbank, WorkingCanada, Eluta, Craigslist, VancouverCareerSearch, CharityVillage, BCJobs and more!)

  • Newspaper Ads and Career Sections

  • Professional Journals & Publications

  • Company/Organization Websites

  • Recruitment & Employment Agencies

  • Professional Associations & Memberships

  • Sector Councils

  • ‘Help Wanted’ Signs

  • Social Media Tools (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook)

Hidden Job Market = positions that are not advertised or posted  - approximately 80 – 85% of the available jobs are hidden!  The job seeker researches, identifies and creates a list of potential employers and contacts them using:

  • Information Interviews: use to explore career options and occupational details, talk with people in those careers, gather specific company information and ask questions.  Allows job seekers to connect with those in the industry, add individuals to their existing list of networking contacts, obtain a mentor, and learn about hidden and/or future opportunities.

  • Career Events:  attend career fairs, employers’ on campus recruitment activities and other career events to make contacts at companies you are interested in, and learn the scoop about the organization (career roles, how to apply, what they look for in new hires, contact names, resume & interview tips, etc). Check out SFU Career Services’ Signature Events happening in March -- Summer Opportunities Fair, Round Robin Resume, Peer Into Your Career, Indigenous Peoples Career Stories and Backpack to Briefcase --check out the details by visiting the Events on simplicity.


Utilize Experiences:  consider a number of diverse ways to gain experience and develop technical and essential employability skills sought after by employers.  A few valuable options to consider to gain experience are: Co-operative Education placements, internships, part-time or summer work, volunteering and/or international exchanges or field schools.

Networking:  create and maintain connections and build relationships with a broad range of people. Networking simply said is ‘people interacting with other people’ who can help you with your career and job search ranging from providing job leads, support, guidance and information, to referrals and references.  Networking is the most effective job search strategy, however it is the strategy least used by job seekers as it is typically the most time-consuming approach to finding a job.

Associations & Memberships:  research and join and become an active member of a professional association or membership affiliated with your occupation and/or industry provides a wonderful opportunity to network with professionals already in your field as well as develop further contacts.  Sign-up to receive association newsletters to remain updated on employment vacancies, hot industry trends, news on members or organizations they work for, professional development opportunities (ie. training, conferences, certifications..).  Association members are a great source of individuals to approach to arrange an information interview and or seek a mentor!


Volunteering:  learn more about your preferred industries, gain related experience and develop important skills, volunteering is just as important as related work experience is in the eyes of most employers.  It is a fantastic way to develop contacts, ‘get your foot in the door’, and make a positive (and hopefully lasting) impression for future employment opportunities.

Social Media Tools:  investigate the many social media strategies available in this technological world and identify which ones would work best for you for your professional persona.  A few to consider are:  LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and strategic Blogs. Remember to build online network contacts, research and follow the industry and different companies, and keep current with trends and new developments.  Engage in online discussions, provide your perspective and/or expertise, learn from others and ask intelligent questions.  If you are a tweeter, send your list of contacts a request for referrals to companies names, job opportunities, and/or individuals you could speak with to gather information.

If you would like to brainstorm specific ideas on how you can conduct your own well-rounded job search and receive friendly guidance and support, SFU Career Advisors are here to help! Contact SFU Career Services by phoning 778-782-3106 to arrange an advising appointment time today! 

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Feb 22, 2012

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