How International Students Can Navigate the Hidden Job Market

Hi EMPOWER community!

On June 4th, 2020, we had the honor to host our first webinar on the topic of How to Navigate the Hidden Job Market and had over 100 registered attendees!

You can re-watch the webinar recording on YouTube! Follow the link below.

The webinar featured 3 talented panelists from various industries who shared their personal & professional experience in navigating the hidden job market and creating the opportunity for themselves (without a job posting!).

Our panelists included:

  • Hurriya Burney (VP of Commercials at RBC)

  • Alison Fleischauer (Recruitment Consultant at BackStretch Recruitment Group)

  • Ali Najaf (HR Coordinator at Kiewit)

We had a full 2-hour meaningful conversation on how international students can navigate the hidden job market, especially during the difficult time of COVID-19.

Below are some takeaways that our lovely attendee, Osama Khan (, captured for us!

Fun fact: Osama in fact got his recent position because he followed one of the advice given in the webinar - via Craigslist!

5 Tips to Access the Hidden Job Market

1) Join your university alumni groups and reach out to alumni group members who are already working in your desired industry. With this approach you will have something common with the person you're interacting with and they would be willing to help since they have gone through what we're going through in this job hunt. They feel our pain!

2) A bit cliche. but here it goes, connect/message people on LinkedIn such as hiring managers. Give value before asking for help, you could provide value in terms of an idea you have that would be beneficial to the company or the manager. In addition, go through their experiences on their profile and add a personal touch to your message and increase your chances of getting a response. Personal touch such as "I was quite impressed with your professional journey where you started out as a Marketing Coordinator at ABC Corp. and now you're the Marketing Manager...." you get the idea right?

3) Stay connected with your university career advisors and co-op advisors. Their main job is to literally find candidates for employers that are reaching out to them on a continual basis. Don't be shy, say Hi! Send an email or a message on LinkedIn if you haven't yet. I just did! You want to be among the first few candidates that your advisor refers to employers.

4) Try to connect with people who have some common ground with you such as people from your country, religion or just your community near by. They would love to help you out because you can connect better with them. Not everyone's going to help you but you just need one nice person, like me! JK.

5) Last one is my favorite, Craigslist! As of today there are over 1,300 live job postings on Craigslist this month alone in all of Vancouver area. Jobs from industries such as marketing, customer service, accounting & finance and much more! It's not free to post jobs on Craigslist, so if you see a post up there, you should realize the employer is investing their $$ to find a candidate, so let's not underestimate this platform. I just applied to six marketing jobs two days ago on craigslist and have even got an email from one company confirming I have passed their first stage of the selection process. Guess they liked my resume lol.

Stay positive when it comes to job search! Best of luck for those who are looking.

Thank you everyone for attending the webinar. We look forward to seeing you next time!

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