Job Search Basics – Part 1

Where Are The Jobs?

You’ve decided to look for a job – but where do you start? Beginning a job search can seem like climbing a mountain. I’m going to spend the next few posts showing you some tips for how to make your climb a little easier.

Before you can do anything else, you have to find jobs that meet your skills and experience. It is important not to limit yourself to one source when you’re job seeking. Make sure that you spread your search out over all of the categories I’ll list here, as well as any others that you may be aware of in your area.

Networking:
When you start job searching, the first thing you should do is tell everyone you know that you’re looking for a job and what kind of a job you want. Maybe your friend’s uncle owns a business and is looking for someone with your skill set. Or perhaps your Sunday school teacher knows of a position at their company. You never know who knows what until you ask. Just mention in conversations that you’re looking for work. Ask people to keep an eye out for you. You never know what might turn up.

National Job Seeking Websites:
These are the big guys and you definitely shouldn’t ignore them. Run a search on the big sites like Monster or Career Builder at least once a week. Also, some of these sites offer free services where you can enter in your job searches and they will email you anytime a job comes up in that category. Essentially, they’re doing the searching for you. Don’t miss this great resource.

Local Job Seeking Websites:
Watch your local TV stations and listen to the radio for local job seeking sites. These sites usually cost less for employers to post their jobs and many of them will feel more comfortable posting only to a local audience. In my experience, these sites tend to be limited unless you live in a very large city. However, that doesn’t mean to ignore them. You only need one job posting if it’s the right one. Be sure to check back with these sites once a week.

Walk-ins:
It is perfectly acceptable to show up at a business you are interested in and fill out an application or submit your resume. Be sure that you dress as if you’re going in for an interview and treat everyone with courtesy and respect – that receptionist could be the boss’s wife or the hiring manager could walk through the lobby while you’re there. Even if they say they don’t have positions open, go ahead and submit your resume and application if they are willing to accept it. Turnover is high with most businesses and if they’re not hiring today, they might be tomorrow.

Cold Calls:
You can save yourself a lot of time by doing this before you do a walk-in. Be prepared before you call, though. Know what you’re going to say and even script it on a scrap of paper if you tend to get nervous. Have a pen and paper ready in case they give you any instructions. Have your resume handy so that you’re prepared to talk about your skills and experience. You may even be able to get a fax number or an email address to send your resume. That will save you the trouble of driving to the company location.