Job Search

There are many ways to find work, but some strategies may produce better results than others. Learn how to be strategic in your job search.

Know yourself, know your field

Ask yourself some initial questions

  • What type of job do you want? What skills do you already have?
  • What types of work would be interesting for you (e.g. research, teaching, admin, entrepreneur....)? How come?
  • Who does the sort of work you’re excited about (e.g. academia, non-profit, private or public sector, industry...)?
    • Who shares your interests?
    • Who might need employees with your skills and experience? 
    • How can you best use your experiential and knowledge capital?
    • What types of employers would be interesting for you? 
  • How much relevant experience do you have? If not too much, where can you get it?

Know your field

Find out as much information as you can about the fields that you're interested in

  • Do your research – how well-informed are you about the field you wish to enter?
    • Look up companies online (their focus/mandate/mission, who’s expanding/who’s shrinking), trends, new developments, current literature, etc.
    • Who are the experts? (Try the industry or professional association, academic supervisor, etc.)
    • Who has funding in your area of interest (e.g. research)?
    • Which specific employers do you wish to target? 
    • Do they have competitors?
  • Blend hard info (e.g. online research) with soft info (e.g. info interviews).

The hidden job market

Tap into the hidden job market

Job seekers Employers looking to hire
Hidden job market 20% 80%
Online job posting 80% 20%
  • 80% of jobs go unadvertised, so expand beyond online searching into the hidden job market (use the 80-20 rule for how you use your time – 80% networking/connecting, 20% online searching).
  • The hidden job market includes any jobs that are accessed from within the company – not posted but existing jobs that a company may have (“Who do we know that could do this job?”) and job creation for specific individuals (“We want to hire Jane.  What role could we create for her?”)
  • People access the hidden job market through their networks, so networking is key.

Skills to get a job

External resources

  • Ten Thousand Coffees
    Create a free profile on The UBC Hub to join the mentoring platform, and receive monthly mentor matches specific to your area of interest.
  • 50 Ways to Get a Job
    Explore this guide to finding work that is personalized to you and where you’re at in your job search.
  • Glassdoor
    Search jobs and get the inside scoop on companies and salary ranges through anonymous reviews left by employees.


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