Hidden Internships & Opportunities

Searching for hidden (un-posted) opportunities

“Hidden Opportunities” refers to those job or internship openings that you will never see posted on a job board. Employers often prefer to use referrals rather than deal with the hassle of numerous unknown applicants for one position. Therefore…

Networking is the NUMBER ONE way to find a job or internship.
Strategies for finding hidden jobs and internships:
  1. Connect with alumni, family or friends who can provide information about career fields you are interested in. Conduct information interviews in order to gain information and strengthen the relationship. Follow-up with a more specific requests for information.
  2. Connect directly with employers who might be able to provide an opportunity that fits with your interests. Email or call someone in the organization to let them know about your skills and interests and inquire about possible opportunities for you to contribute.

Use the Networking Guide and meet with a Peer Advisor or Career Coach in the Piper Center to develop a personalized plan.

Resources especially for Oles:
  • St. Olaf Internship Database – search information about 1400+ internships completed by Oles in the past. Many of these organizations might be open to hosting an intern again.
  • Job and Internship Fairs
  • LinkedIn – create your profile and join groups related to your areas of interest, St. Olaf alumni group, and “follow” organizations of interest to you
  • Handshake – your organization of interest may be posting a job in a department that is not your interest and you can browse employer profiles and contact information
  • Online Alumni Directory – search by occupational area, city, major, organization – conduct informational interviews with alumni of interest
Other resources:
  • Professional Association Websites – student membership often comes with access to a directory of professionals and many opportunities to connect in person at events
  • Directories based on field or industry (MN Nonprofit Directory, for example)
  • Search Glassdoor  to find resources and information on jobs and companies.
  • Online search – find by searching Yahoo or Google by typing in “(interest area) (city)” or other combinations
  • Chamber of Commerce in a specific city
  • Also, don’t forget to check out our Job Search Tool Form.

If you want advice on searching for posted jobs, click here.


**Strategies for soliciting openings:
(can we move this section to the Networking How-to-Guide?)
  • Network with alumni, family, friends who might work at your organization of interest
  • Visit the organization website to check for openings
  • Call the organization and inquire if there are any new or anticipated/upcoming openings
  • Mail a cover letter and resume to the director of your department of interest