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Searching the Hidden and Open Markets

You may search for internships and jobs in two places: the hidden market and the open market.

If you seek an internship or entry-level job, we encourage you to search in both places. If you seek a middle or upper-level position, you may be more successful looking in the hidden market. Results also vary according to industries and occupations, so consider the tips below when conducting your search.

The Hidden Market

You may find positions that are not publicly advertised by tapping into the hidden market. Once you find a position, your likelihood for success is often greater because of the existing relationship that you or someone you know has with the employer. Competing with a smaller applicant pool also helps. To uncover these hidden opportunities:

  • Share your interests with friends, relatives, professors, and other influential people who may alert you to openings or refer you to hiring managers.
  • Meet new people at Career Center events and networking receptions.
  • Join professional associations and membership organizations.
  • Connect with friends and colleagues through professional networking sites such as LinkedIn.
  • Create a new internship by submitting a thorough proposal to an employer.
  • Turn your internship or temporary position into a full-time job.
  • Stay alert to opportunities for promotion within your organization.
  • Utilize reputable staffing firms at no cost to you.

The Open Market


During times of uncertainty we see increased fraudulent job postings and scam employer tactics. Be vigilant to ensure legitimacy. The Career Center conducts extensive vetting of employers in Handshake, however, some slip in undetected. Outside of Handshake, vet employers using the tips below. Scammers look for new tricks and it can be difficult to detect. If you have questions, reach out to the Career Center for an extra set of eyes and a check-in on how to proceed.

The applicant pool tends to be larger for positions that are publicly advertised. Use the methods below to find internships and jobs in the open market:

  • Log into Handshake and search for positions that are specifically posted for AU students and alumni.
  • Tailor your search according to industry or occupation through specialized sites including Idealist for nonprofit positions, USAJOBS, and others.
  • Use LinkedIn Job Search to uncover insights such as whom you know at company, providing an edge in your job search.
  • Search more broadly on general sites including Indeed, SimplyHired, and ZipRecruiter.
  • For part-time work near AU's campus, check out QuadJobs.
  • Target specific openings listed on organizations' websites.
  • Speak with employers at the AU Job and Internship Fair each September and March and check our event calendar for details about other fairs in the area.
  • Peruse professional association journals and listservs and flip to the career section of newspapers.