Searching for a new job or career doesn’t have to be painful or agonizing. Your success will depend a lot upon your approach. Are you familiar with current hiring trends?
Do you know exactly what position you are targeting? Are you just desperately in need of a job, any job? How do you presently find positions? Are you equipped with a good cover letter and resume? Do you have good references? Do you have a good career guide to steer you in the right direction?
Are you able to explain any inconsistencies in your resume? How flexible are you with salary and benefits? How far can you travel geographically? These are only a few questions to ask yourself before starting your job search. You will need to understand that finding a job could easily turn into a full time job and it’s important for you to have a system in place that works for you.
The three main sources to find a new job are online jobsites, networking through friends, family members, present and former colleagues and checking the yellow pages. I realize most people don’t check the yellow pages for jobs unless they are looking for a temp agency or permanent placement career firm. There is more to the yellow pages online and offline than jobseekers realize.
Online Jobsites are the most common places to find jobs right now. They are available in several categories. You can search jobsites based on your location, industry, ethnicity and salary requirements. You can also limit your search to full time, part time, per diem, freelance, telecommuting and shift preferences. Most of these sites offer candidates the opportunity to post their resumes online to be viewed by potential employers with vacancies to fill.
Depending on your qualifications and what you are looking for, you can easily narrow your list of sites to monitor to three. It is best to have at least one local site that you can count on for positions close to home. The national job boards will attract more attention and more competition. With the current state of economy, many jobseekers will relocate for the right position. If you monitor a site that is only known in your area you will limit the chances of high competition compared to a national advertising.
Networking might not be the most common way to find a job, but it is one of the best ways. When a position becomes available the first people to know about it are the employees. Many times before a job is even posted it will be filled. I accepted a position this way many years ago. A co-worker was leaving the company we worked for and before she left, she placed a post it note in front of me and winked.
The process required very little effort on my part. I updated my resume, contacted her friend who was the president of the company, interviewed for the position and in a matter of days accepted an offer. My co-worker had already given me a stellar recommendation so my new boss didn’t even check the references I provided. In a matter of weeks I started my new position with a great company, better benefits and a wonderful group of people. It was a good move in more than one way. Within months my former company had a massive layoff.
As I mentioned above the yellow pages aren’t usually the first place anyone looks for a job. However, if you are creative, patient and targeting a specific industry, the yellow pages can be your best friend. I worked for a brokerage firm several years ago. An announcement was made that the department I worked in was on track to be closed. Like most of the other employees, I quickly started looking around for another position. After moving to another department was eliminated as an option, I then looked in licensure so I could work in another capacity in the same industry.
After acquiring my license I took two days off to spend time with the yellow pages. I knew my industry so I knew what companies to target in my job search. I also created a geographic range. When I was finished with my criteria, I got on the phone and called every company in the yellow pages that fit the description. I politely asked whoever answered the phone if their company was hiring for the position I wanted, requested email addresses, fax numbers and contact names. Before returning to work after two days, I had been on four interviews and accepted a new position.
Want more information to improve your job search? Check out our Job and Career Guide page with more My Career resources.