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How to find a job

Get tips for how to find a job from a number of sources -- online and off.

Networking is often cited as the most significant means through which people find employment. [©Jupiter Images, 2009]
©Jupiter Images, 2009
Networking is often cited as the most significant means through which people find employment.

The first step in finding a job is determining the type of employment that might best suit your interests, values and skills. Many Web sites, such as America's Career InfoNet and the U.S. Department of Education's Career Voyages, are designed to help job seekers research and prepare for various careers.

A personality assessment exam may also help job seekers identify what kind of employment might best match their personality type and work habits. Many assessment tests are available for free online, at sites such as the Keirsey Temperament Sorter and The Testing Room. Once you know what type of job you're looking for, it's time to start your search.

Find Jobs through the Internet

Web sites that aggregate job opportunities, such as Career.com, Monster.com, SimplyHired.com and Indeed.com allow individuals to search for jobs that match their skills and interests. There are also sites devoted to advertising part-time or hourly jobs, such as SnagAJob.com. Newspapers and journals, both online and offline, also publish job listings. Web sites such as NewsLink allow job seekers to search Web sites of newspapers in their area.

Target Your Search

If an individual has an interest in a particular company, it is best to contact the employer directly to see if positions are available. The local library can also prove a valuable resource, as many libraries maintain career research collections and hold workshops on how to find employment. Also try contacting the local Chamber of Commerce and the state's Department of Labor to discover what services they offer to help people find employment.

Ask for Help

College graduates can find it beneficial to contact their alma mater's career services office. Many colleges and universities assist their alumni in finding career opportunities, even decades after graduation. There may be a small fee for this service, but many institutions offer career counseling for free. An online database of available jobs may even be accessible through the career services office. Many institutions also have a network of alumni who offer to assist other graduates in finding jobs in particular fields. Local governments also have programs to help match jobseekers with employers.

How to Network

Networking is often cited as the most significant means through which people find employment. Networking is the creation of social alliances, and it ideally starts long before someone begins looking for a job. Job seekers can network through book clubs, political organizations, parties, religious groups, or more informally by simply striking up a conversation with people in any social situation. Individuals can also network more directly by attending local branches of professional associations in their area of interest. Networking can also be done online by posting on Web forums or by joining networking Web sites such as NetworkingforProfessionals.com. When looking for a job, job seekers can ask people in their network if they know of any suitable job openings, or if they could be introduced to potential employers.

Find a Pro

In some instances, it can be beneficial to hire a career counselor (also called a job coach or a career development facilitator). Career counselors can guide job seekers through the process of switching careers or looking for a new job. They are trained to help people consider new jobs that might especially suit their personality and skill set and to assist in preparing materials for job applications (such as cover letters and resumes). Some experts recommend using a career counselor who is a member of the National Career Development Association to ensure the counselor has had proper training in career counseling.

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