You may not know exactly where to start, but resources, each with their own advantages and disadvantages, are plentiful when it comes to looking for employment.
- Employment opportunities are a standard feature of all newspapers and are easily accessible and navigated. If you are relocating to a new area, they probably make the most sense, as they will help orient you to the general business climate. Be aware that many newspapers, especially in large cities, have more extensive employment sections on their websites.
- Many communities have workforce development organizations that assist with employment. Career One Stop centers, Job Corp USA and Goodwill all have the staff and expertise to narrow your search and guide you through the process. All are likely to offer a list of job search engines and calendars of local hiring events.
- The Internet is also a common way to look for work. Many job search engines exist. Look for sites that use your experience and personality to tailor results and show positions you may be best suited for, such as Indeed.com and www.ApplyApp.ly.
- Engaging with your social network is still touted as a primary way to find a job. Ask friends, family, former teachers, etc. for information about their employers and knowledge of their industry. If you have a family member or friend who currently works for a company of interest, ask who you would contact for more information. Also consider using online social networks.
- Cold calling still has a place in the job search process. Identify a company of interest, contact the human resources department and ask if someone could show you around for 10 or 15 minutes so you can gain a better understanding of what they do and why they do it. This is called an “informational interview” and allows you to gather information so you can make a good decision about where you would like to work and are most likely to succeed. Employers often value your initiative and are more likely to offer you an interview when your application is submitted.
- If you can use a staffing company to find temporary assignments that are targeted to your interests, you may have a great way to learn of job openings. Be aware that some staffing companies assist with permanent placements for a fee, or expect you to refrain from accepting a job with one of their clients for a period of time. It’s best to learn how they operate before using this approach.
Regardless of how you look for jobs, keep an eye out for scams that promise high wages for limited or no investment of time, money or effort—you may spend more money for the job than you could ever hope to make back. The Federal Trade Commission is an excellent resource for researching employment scams.
Looking for employment is a time-consuming activity, so you should make a plan based on your comfort level with technology, desire for assistance, amount of time you are able to devote to job search, and understanding of your work preferences. Decide which resources work best for you, set aside time each day to focus on job search, and be prepared for the unavoidable ups and downs!