Even in the darkest moments of an economic downturn, good jobs are available for qualified candidates. These positions may not be widely advertised. In fact, employers do not want to increase the sheer number of résumés they receive. The savvy job searcher will use the following tactics to uncover these hidden jobs.

Activate your contact network.

Make a list of all of your personal and professional contacts, let them know the specific type of position that you seek and give them a résumé they can share with others. Whenever someone offers to help you, follow their advice. Thank your original contact and give them a progress report. Follow-through and follow-up are key.

Identify your UVA networking resources.

The Web site https://hoosonline.virginia.edu is an excellent source. To locate alumni who can give you career information or advice, select “career resources,” then select “UCAN” (the University Career Assistance Network). This is a database of more than 23,000 alumni volunteers who want to help other alumni and current students in their career planning.

Also, look for career opportunities on HoosOnline Network, a password-protected social networking site of more than 14,000 alumni. It includes career functions such as a job board, with job postings for UVA alumni and career interest groups.

Local alumni clubs also can help with your networking strategy. Go to www.uvaclubs.virginia.edu to join the mailing list. Learn about events planned for your area and attend whenever possible.

Research the local job market.

Read the Sunday classifieds, but pay no attention to the job titles. Make a list of organizations that are hiring and go to their Web sites. Most employers list all of their openings on their Web sites, and sometimes those are the only places where they will list a particular position.

When you discover a position of interest, search your network for contacts who work for that organization or know someone who does. Referrals from employees set your application apart from other candidates’. It’s crucial in this market to stand out from the crowd.

Fees for the first month of alumni career services have been waived for Alumni Association members.
For more information, contact Liz Sprouse at ecs9u@virginia.edu or (434) 243-9017.