Finding a job

Using the resources that take you where you want to go

Finding a job can at times be a frustrating proposition. Few people land employment immediately, and locating that dream job can be a daunting task. Because of that, experts such as the Career Resource Center say that being organized is the key to success. It suggests starting with seven questions to help move you through the process:
  • What job titles or specialty areas are you seeking? What types of positions are you looking?

  • Regardless of job title, what industry areas interest you (for example: business, health care, education, government, legal, technology, sports)?

  • For what type of organization would you like to work (public, private, non-profit, government)?

  • What size organization would be the best fit?

  • What geographical locations do you prefer? In what areas of the country are you willing to work?

  • What is your desired salary? What is the minimum salary you can accept?

  • What benefits are you seeking that might affect the salary you would accept?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics' "Occupational Outlook Handbook," lists a number of places to start your job search. Begin with your personal contacts - they may offer you one of the most effective ways to find a job.

Try your high school or college placement office, too. They can help students and alumni with job fairs and job listings.

Develop a list of employers in your desired career field. You can use the library, the Internet and professional organizations to research companies. Contact the relevant department. Even if they have no openings, find out about what type of qualifications are needed for the job. Send them your resume and a cover letter.

Local employment offices, operated by state employment services in coordination with the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration, offer services to job seekers and employers, including job matching and referral.

According to, another valuable job-search tool is the Internet. It lists five main uses for the Internet in your job search:
  • Search for positions.
  • Post your resume.
  • Find job-hunting and career advice.
  • Research fields, occupations, companies, locations.
  • Make contact.
Newspaper classified ads are also helpful, but be sure to also read the business section for news on changes at local organizations.

After you have identified the targets, do your research. What do you want to know about the organization? At the minimum, you should know what product/service it provides, what size it is, where its corporate headquarters is located and whether it is financially sound.

Then, send your resume to selected employers and generate interviews with a handful of your target companies. Make sure you keep records to manage your job search.

Remember the importance of following up after an interview. Send a thank you note, thanking the interviewer for their time. Most companies won't contact you right away. That makes it important to continue making contact so the company knows you're interested. Walk the fine line between being persistent without being a pest.

Then, it's time to evaluate offers. Understand that rejection is part of the process; try not to take it personally. Also, remember that you are evaluating potential employers just as you are being evaluated.

Sources: Career Resource Center,, Bureau of Labor Statistics' "Occupational Outlook Handbook."



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