We need to talk about job searching as part of your career exploration. Whether you have researched and decided on a new career choice, or if you just need to find a reasonable interim job - you need the tools to get there.
Networking is probably still the best way to land a new job, but not everyone has the necessary contacts. Regardless of how many people you know as business contacts, it's a good idea to build as many relationships as you can. Talk to family, friends, neighbors, former coworkers and let them know the type of work you are looking for. Consider sending out an email to your contacts. Post it on a social networking sight that you belong to. But be sure to also talk to people in person - nothing compares to verbal or in person conversations.
Online job searching is a very valuable tool. Back when I was first unemployed, the recommendation was to limit how many jobs you applied for online. This is no longer the case. More and more businesses are posting job openings online and searching for candidates who have a resume posted on a job board. Some sites let you upload a current resume and others require that you create one using their format. In any case, get your resume posted on the major job boards. Monster is still one of the favorites with employers and job seekers. Another one that I like is
. When you search for a job on their website, it automatically pulls jobs from several other job board websites.
While we are on the subject of online job searching - See this website for creating a resume in the correct
format for online resumes.
This site offers several free resume templates, and informative job search tips and articles.
When doing an online search, use keywords for the type of job you are looking for. It is a good idea to group them together by quotation marks - this way it will only pull up jobs that have that combination of words in sequence. For example: If I search for administrative assistant, it will show me any job that has either the work administrative or the word assistant in the body of the job description. Then I end up with jobs for physician assistant, sales assistant, etc. But if I search for "administrative assistant" with the quotation marks, then I am more likely to find what I am looking for. I realize that most people already know this, but my readers may be at different levels of expertise and computer knowledge and I want to help as many people as possible through this website.
Here is another website I found that may be useful in your job search. This is a
review of major job boards.
I think it is helpful to read the pros and cons of online job searching and this website does a good job of that. There are sections and articles on many subjects including freelance jobs.
It is also a very good idea to visit a company's website and check for job openings. You will sometimes have better luck if you are able to apply online directly with the company of interest. Some of the job boards will take you directly to the employer's website to apply for the job depending on the employer's preference.
Once you have your online search up and running, don't forget about traditional methods as well. There are still jobs posted in local newspapers. It is still very impressive to visit companies in person with resume and cover letter in hand. Not too many people make the effort these days, so you will stand out from the crowd. Ask to speak to the person in charge of hiring. Chances are they will be unavailable - if so, do not be pushy. Be extremely polite with the receptionist and ask him or her to please let the person in charge know that you stopped by and give them your resume. Ask for the person's name that you should follow up with. Be sure to dress professionally! I once worked for a small company and the owner usually took the time to see anyone who walked in the door, so be prepared.
In summary - your job search should include three major tools: Networking, Online job searching, and Traditional search methods.
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