Job Search Strategies

The type of job search you should conduct will depend on the type of job you are trying to find.  Below are some helpful strategies on searching for a wide variety of jobs as well as some helpful information on presenting yourself as the best possible candidate.  Good luck on your job search!

Wants Ads

Searching the want ads in your local papers is a good way to see what types of jobs are available in your area, which can be especially helpful if you are not sure what type of job you want to obtain.  Even if you know the type of job you are looking for want ads can still be a good starting point to let you know what companies are offering those types of positions.  It is important to submit your application and/or resume as soon as possible to a posting in a want ad as they often result in a large number of submissions.  Submitting your materials as soon as possible will increase the likelihood that your application will be reviewed.


Employment Agencies

Employment agencies can be a good resource to use to find a job, especially if you are looking for a job in a technical field or for a job that requires specialized education or training.  Employment agencies may also be of benefit to your in you are looking for a job in a specific field (e.g., there are often special agencies for maids/cleaning services, nannies).  Typically employers pay employment agencies a fee for the agency to find suitable candidates to fill positions in their companies.  You should always be wary if you are being asked to pay a fee to find your a job.  A list of employment agencies in your area an be found in your local telephone directory.


Internet

The internet can be your best friend in your search for a job.  You will be able to search online job sites and company websites, as well as have the ability to post your resume to job boards and submit applications online.

Some popular job posting websites include Indeed, CareerBuilder, Monster, and TheLadders.  These sites allow you to search for jobs and easily apply to them online.  They also allow you to post your resume online so that potential employers can contact you with job opportunities.  All sites offer at least some basic membership for free, while some offer enhanced or premium membership for a fee.

If you are interested in working for a specific company, you should go directly to that company's website.  Almost every company now has a website that includes job postings and options to apply for jobs online.


Targeted Mailings

Targeted mailings work best when you have a well-researched list of companies where you are interested in finding employment.  After you have a list of companies, you will need to develop a good cover letter that you can tailor to each specific company.  You will also want to make sure you have an up-to-date resume that you can include with the cover letter.

Targeted mailings are different than applying for jobs because you are sending the company a general cover letter expressing your interest in working for that company.

  Here are some tips to follow when doing a targeted mailing:

  • Make sure that you obtain a current contact name for the human resource person you are submitting your information to. 
  • Be sure to include something in your cover letter that will want to make them look at your resume and think about contacting you for an interview.
  • Include one or two statements in your cover letter that show you have researched their company.  This also shows that you have tailored the letter to each company instead of just doing a mass-mailing.
  • Make sure you keep your letter concise.  It should not be more than one page.

In-Person Visits

Your ability to do in-person visits depends on the type of job you are trying to obtain.  If you are able to visit the company you wish you work at, be sure to dress in business attire even if this is not how those who work at the company are dressed.  You always want to present yourself in the best possible light, and no potential employer will penalize you for dressing too formally.  Be sure to bring multiple copies of your resume with you so that you can leave one or more at each company you visit.


Networking

Networking is talking to everyone you know who may be able to give you information on potential job opportunities.  This can be a great way to learn about unadvertised openings or to get your resume in the hands of someone who may be able to pass it along to someone else who may be hiring.  Networking also makes it more likely that you will find a job that more closely matches your interests.   


On-Campus Recruiting 

If you are still in college or a technical school/training program the school or program may offer on-campus recruiting opportunities.  This will give you an opportunity to learn more about companies that are hiring and possibly schedule interviews.  You should dress in business attire even if this is not how those who work at the company are dressed.  You always want to present yourself in the best possible light, and no potential employer will penalize you for dressing too formally.  You should also be sure to bring multiple copies of your resume with you so you will be prepared to give them to potential employers or have them for on-the-spot interviews.

Many colleges and universities also open on-campus recruiting opportunities to their alumni.  Even if you have been out of school for awhile it would be good to check and see what options are available to alumni through your alma mater.


Resume Referrals

As employer submit jobs to resume referral services the resumes are searched and those that are a match are forwarded to the employer.  This is a way for the employer to find out about you as soon as they post a job opportunity.  One drawback of these services is that you will usually have to pay a fee to the service. 


Resume Tips

A well written resume can be the difference between securing an interview or being passed up for another candidate.  If you search online you can find extensive information about writing a resume and resume templates and samples. 

Here are some basic resume tips to get you started:

  • Make sure to pick a basic font.  You do not want your resume to be passed up because it was too hard for hiring manager to read.  Also, now many companies use electronic systems to scan resumes and complicated fonts are often not compatible with these systems.
  • You will need to choose a format.  Resumes can be arranged chronologically by job or by skills and experience which is referred to a functional resume.  If you have been consistently employed, a chronological resume would probably make more sense.  A functional resume is usually used by those with gaps in their employment history or someone changing careers.
  • Make sure to include all of your contact information including your full name, address, phone numbers, and e-mail address.
  • It is a good idea to use the same key words in your resume that are found in requirements section of the jobs you to which you are applying.
  • You may need to customize your resume to fit a certain job's requirements.  Submitting a customized resume works best when your qualifications are a perfect match to the job's requirements.
  • Do NOT forget to check spelling and proofread.  If at all possible, have someone else read your resume before sending it because it is often hard to miss your own mistakes.

Cover Letter Tips

Not all jobs require a cover letter, but for those that do, or if you choose to do a targeted mailing, a good cover letter   can make all the difference.  Even when a cover letter is not requested if you are able to submit one you should because submitting the cover letter will demonstrate your serious interest in the position. 

If you search online you will find more detailed information on how to write a cover letter as well as cover letter samples and templates.

Here are some basic cover letter tips to get you started:

  • Cover letters should be specific to the job your are applying for and this is the perfect way to demonstrate how your skills match a job description. 
  • Be sure to include keywords used in the posted job requirements. 
  • Make sure you are not just duplicating your resume.  Your cover letter is a chance to expand on things listed on your resume.
  • Many times people have a good reason for gaps in their employment, such as being laid off or going back to school.  Cover letters provide you with a place to explain any gaps in employment.
  • Do NOT forget to check spelling and proofread.  If at all possible, have someone else read your cover letter before sending it because it is often hard to miss your own mistakes.

Source Information for this page can be found here.