9 Ways to Search for Jobs

By Tracy Achen | Updated September 11, 2019

Searching for jobs takes dedication and a willingness to move beyond your comfort zone. This involves doing more than just having alerts set up on a job search website. 

Job search concept

You need to make contacts with people who know of available positions, be willing to approach managers and business owners, and dress to impress (because you never know when an opportunity will find you). You also need to make sure that you have a polished resume and cover letter on hand to give to a potential employer. Once you have that done, then you can start searching for employment prospects.

Best Sources of Jobs

Now that you've got your head in the game, here are some suggestions on where to look for employment opportunities:

  • Referrals / Networking - Ask friends, family, and neighbors if they know of any openings in your field of interest. Referrals lead to more employment offers than any other method. And it's a good idea to start attending events where you can network with other people. You never know when you'll get a tip about an unadvertised job opening.

  • Community Agencies - Contact your city government, Federal employment agencies, community college, or public library for information on employment postings. You can also contact your state Department of Labor to access their resources and services.

  • Local Businesses - Actually go to the businesses where you would like to work and talk to the owners about any positions that might be open. Be sure to leave your name, phone number, and resume even if they aren't currently looking for new employees. If a position becomes available that fits your skill set, the owner can just call you without having to go through the hassle of posting the job opening.

  • Employment Agencies / Staffing Services- Many businesses will list job openings through these services to avoid the hassle of placing ads and having to set up interviews. For some businesses, going through a staffing agency is the only way you'll get hired.

FlexJobs logo
  • Temp Services - Businesses will look for workers here for the same reasons they use employment agencies. It may be that they only need help for a little while, but often these positions can increase your exposure within the company. Once your specific assignment expires, the company may be willing to hire you for a different position. Another benefit of doing temp work is that it allows you to experiment in a variety of fields without committing long-term to a job.

  • On-line Services - There are websites that allow you to search online by demographic area and career category. Two to check out are Indeed.com and Monster.com, where you can access career tools, advice, information, and more. Also, don't forget about Linked In. It's a professional social network where you can connect with other professionals in your field. Here are some  tips on how to get recognized on Linked In

  • Job Fairs - Job fairs are often hosted in large cities and on college campuses and it makes sense to attend the ones in your area when you're searching for employment. After all, this is a great opportunity to speak directly with a company representative. Just be sure to have copies of your resume ready. To find out when the next job fair will occur, contact your local Chamber of Commerce or nearby college.

  • Professional Organizations and Trade Journals - If your field of expertise has a professional organization, be sure to join. When you participate in the organizations meetings and activities, it allows you to network with people who know about available positions. In addition, almost every occupation has its own trade journal and most have a section listing positions to be filled. Check to see if any are available at your local library.

  • Help Wanted / Work Wanted Ads - Even though newspaper usage is declining, some companies still post job openings in the local papers. Scanning the local classified ads lets you know who is actively seeking employees. You can also place an ad in the classifieds announcing your availability to work. If a potential employer spots your ad, they know that you are motivated and willing to work. 

While finding career opportunities takes some effort, your time will be well spent in the long-run.

Part of preparing for you job search involves having a sparkling resume to highlight your best qualities. Continue with...

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