Searching For Jobs
Once you've decided what you want to do, finding an opening in that field can be just as difficult, especially in a tough economy.
Modern society offers several options for job searching, each with its own set of pros and cons.
The quickest and easiest way to search for jobs currently is on the World Wide Web. Log on to the Internet, and you’ll find countless sites that claim to have the best listings for your area and profession.
A word of warning to job seekers: most job sites, especially the general ones, will list job postings for non-traditional jobs. Some of these may be scams. As a general rule, a job should not tell the job seeker to send money before being considered or offered the position. Also be wary of jobs that promise huge salaries immediately.
If you don't want to worry about which site to use, check out Indeed.com. Indeed will take job postings from several job sites and combine them into one location. These will include not only the big ones like Careerbuilder and Monster, but also smaller, more industry-specific job sites, such as JournalismJobs.com, and regional job sites, such as CTjobs.com and SpringfieldHelpWanted.com. Indeed will also find postings listed on individual employer websites.
Though it has options to save specific jobs and create a profile, it is designed more like a message board. Clicking on a job posting will take you to where the job was posted originally. For job seekers who want to send off resumes quickly, Indeed may not be the best choice.
Easy to use, with a huge selection of postings across the country, CareerBuilder.com is for many the first choice. You can save multiple resumes and cover letters for easy applying, and there's an option to make the resumes available for employers to search.
For job seekers, search options include industry, location, salary, and more, making it possible to narrow down exactly the type of job you’re looking for. After a resume is submitted, CareeBuilder will also present a list of recommended jobs based on previous searches or application history.
In many ways, Monster is similar to CareeBuilder. Job seekers have the option to post resumes, search, and save job postings. Monster also now promotes its career advice and resume services.
Though not as well known, SnagAJob offers several postings from reputable companies. It presents itself, however, as a site for hourly employment, so job seekers looking for salaried and executive positions may want to look elsewhere. Simple, easy to use, with informative videos to guide job seekers through the process, SnagAJob is a resource for those just entering the professional work environment.
On the opposite end of the spectrum is TheLadders.com, which gears itself toward high-end positions with salaries over $100K.
Unlike the sites listed above, TheLadders require job searchers to enter personal information before browsing jobs. When filling out the sections, one category asks for the previous year's salary, and it does not offer an amount under $80K.
The positions on TheLadders are upper management, executive, and director jobs that require extensive experience.
- Industry Specific Websites and Non-Traditional Jobs
For more specific listings that focus on the desired position or industry, try browsing jobs sites that are designed for that purpose. Try searching for the industry and "jobs" to find sites linked to your desired industry.
Some positions will be legitimate, including own-your-own-business opportunities (such as direct marketing). Look for recognized names, or do an internet search on the company that's hiring, to help determine a company's authenticity, and be sure to read postings carefully before applying to anything. If a job sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Local newspapers, both large and small, can offer listings that may not be found elsewhere. Advertising in the newspaper is a relatively low-cost option for many smaller businesses, and as such is appealing to many employers.
Keep in mind that newspaper ads often have limited space, which means the information they can provide is limited, as well. Familiarize yourself with a company or position by researching online or calling for more information.
Many companies who don't want to deal with the hassle of finding prospective employees hire employment agencies to do the searching for them. These employment agencies can be small, serving a specific county, or nationwide or even international.
Listings of employment agencies can be found online or in the phone book, or you can browse job postings to find jobs posted by employment agencies. Applying for a job that's posted by an employment agency can help get your foot in the door, by making that agency familiar with your resume and the type of job you're looking for. Some agencies will also have open houses, when they will actively seek new employees to work with their agencies.
Positions available through agencies can be temporary, temp-to-hire, or direct hire. Temporary, as their name suggests, are not permanent positions. They can be anything from a single week to long-term for a year or more. Temp-to-hire positions start as temporary positions, and if the employer feels you are a good match, that employer can make a job offer. Direct hire positions are regular, permanent positions that are being filled.
Employment agencies vary widely, and can be general or specialized in a particular industry. If you are looking for positions in a specific field, matching up with an employment agency that works with that field can help get you experience and contacts, even if just for temporary positions to boost your resume.
Another option is to simply call prospective employers and ask if they have any openings. Jobs that are recently available, or are not advertised, may be made known to those answering the phone. Asking may be the quickest, or even only, way to find out about these jobs.
Not all companies look favorably to cold calls, however, so always be polite, and don't burn bridges you may need down the line.
Perhaps the oldest way of finding a job can also be the most effective: knowing someone. Whether that person is a close friend or family member, or a friend of a friend of a friend, having a link with someone who works at a prospective employer is a definite benefit, as long as that person is willing to help you get a foot in the door.
When you're looking for a job, make everyone you know aware of what you're looking for. You never know who might have a valuable connection.
And keep your ears open for others, as well. If you have a connection that could help someone else, return the favor!