Here we are at the start of another year.  Everyone is talking about getting in shape, setting their fitness goals and promising to start that healthy eating plan!  It’s also one of the busiest times of the year to look for a new job.

So, you’ll want to take advantage of all the new opportunities in the jobs market.  How to find a job in 2020 looks very different than a decade ago.

There was a time you could surf the job boards and apply to vacancies.  If you wanted to be smart about it, you’d set up a job alert too.

Today it’s wise to use several routes to market.  It’s good to use a mixture of pro-active and the traditional reactive approaches.  You’ve probably read articles describing the visible and hidden jobs market.

Generally, speaking the visible jobs are the adverts you see on websites, social media, with recruitment agencies and on job boards.  Hidden jobs are those that recruiters will approach or find you via a number of methods.

It’s reported that there could be 60% or more vacancies that don’t get advertised.  And the way to get to most of these hidden vacancies is by networking.  The benefits of technology mean we can easily and successfully network on and off line.

Some of you may be thinking what’s the point of hiding vacancies.  When a large company advertises externally, they tend to receive a very high volumes of applications.  This takes time and costs money sorting through all the responses.

Even though they may have systems that automate most of the management of candidates these days there’s still an element of human interaction required.

So, to reduce the time and costs of recruiting, they may advertise internally first (See Employee Referral Scheme below).  They may even source candidates directly by either searching on a job board to find relevant CVs that candidates have uploaded.

Or they may search on LinkedIn or other social media platforms.  This type of sourcing (searching for candidates) is much more tailored and reduces the amount of time screening CVs.

You’ve heard about the importance of including keywords on your LinkedIn profile.  It’s also essential to include these keywords on your CV to ensure you are found by recruiters using the job boards to find suitable candidates.

Recruiters call this sourcing technique on job boards ‘mining’ and on LinkedIn it’s called a Boolean Search.

Here are some ways to find a job in 2020 using both the hidden and visible jobs market:

Online Job Sites

The use of online websites has without doubt been the biggest transformation in how people now find work. There are now over five billion people (or two-thirds of the world’s population) with mobile connection.

This has made it easier to search and find work online.  Using our search for a job page, you can look for jobs in most countries on your mobile, tablet, laptop or pc.

Subscribing to job sites such as Indeed, Career Builder or Jobserve will give you access to a vast list of vacancies.


Networking today can be on and off line.  There are so many places and opportunities to network. Think creatively about the places you can informally network.

If Continuous Professional Development CPD is important to your career then you can network while keeping your knowledge and skills up to date.  Workshops and seminars are great places to informally network and build relationships.

Just like continuous professional development, networking also needs to be continuous and not just when you need a job.  I was working with one individual recently and he was playing golf and mentioned he was on the look out for a contract.  He was invited to attend an interview however, it was more of a formality.  He was offered the assignment.  It’s good to network.

Find a job using Social Media

You need to be networking on social media too.  The most obvious social media platform is LinkedIn.  However, don’t forget the other platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

You can build relationships online these days.  You can also follow the activity of most companies and get involved in the conversations and discussions.

Ensure you have your profile up to date and include keywords and key skills.  Recruiters will be searching with these keywords and key skills.

Job Fairs

Another great place to find jobs and network with future employers are the job fairs.  Go prepared by dressing smartly and take a few copies of your CV.  Also, be prepared to be informally interviewed.

There’s a lot less pressure being informally interviewed at a job fair than attending an interview.  However, you still want to be prepared to introduce yourself and talk through your career history.

Make the most of this opportunity and plan your day.  It can be an intensive and exhausting day so make sure you are well hydrated and take proper breaks.  Take a note book along with you and keep a track of the actions you need to take after the job fair.

You may be asked to send your CV by email or connect on LinkedIn or call them at a later date.  It’s good practice to take responsibility for the follow-up.

If you connect on LinkedIn remember to include a thank you message and let them know you met at the job fair.  The recruiters would have potentially talked to hundreds of people that day.

Employee Referral Schemes

Talking to friends and family is really important and an easy option.  The large companies will have Employee Referral Schemes.  These are usually financial incentives for employees to refer suitable candidates to open vacancies.

They generally produce good quality candidates.  This is probably because employees tend to refer people they trust.  That’s why it’s a good idea to stay in touch and then contact ex-colleagues when you are looking for your next job.  If they are working for a company of interest, they can let you know of any suitable vacancies.

Job Boards

There are still thousands of vacancies advertised on a variety of job boards, so it’s still well worth spending time searching for opportunities.  Recruiters in agencies will also be searching for candidates that have uploaded their CVs to job boards.

So, again it’s a good idea to still incorporate job boards into your job-hunting strategy.  Just remember to remove your full address. You can include the town and county you reside if you feel it’s relevant.

These day’s the only contact information you really need is email and mobile phone.

Recruitment Agencies

Be selective when you decide to work with a recruitment agency.  Consider whether it’s more effective to register with a specialist agency or High Street generalist agency.  Working with a specialist agency will help you get to the clients of interest much quicker.

Recruitment agents usually have very good relationships with their clients.  There tends to be less CVs sent for vacancies being managed by agencies and this will increase your chances of getting an interview.  The agent will also be able to prepare you for the interview given their knowledge about the client.

Company Websites

If you have a list of companies you are particularly keen to work for then register your interest.  You will normally find the registration form on their career page.  These days you’ll probably be able to send your CV speculatively and set up alerts to be notified of relevant vacancies.

This is another route to market you can factor into your job search.  However, you don’t want to be sitting back waiting for the alerts, so you’ll need to be actively using the other routes to maximise your chances.

Take the time to plan your job search activities.  Factor in some dedicated time in your diary to manage your job search.  Looking for a job can take over your life, which is okay short-term.  However, make some time to do something nice with friends and family and look after yourself too.