We already have a couple of articles related to resumes, interview tips, and how to get a summer job. These articles contain good advice for their respective topic, but before those tips get put to practice, one needs to know where to look. Although it sounds simple enough, finding those advertised positions can be a challenge.
Why Would Finding A Job Be Difficult?
Knowing where to look really shouldn’t be difficult but it is. One reason for this I believe is that there still isn’t one place where all the jobs out there are posted. There are many forms of media that companies use to advertise their openings, and some companies are better at this advertising than others. Another reason is that new entries into the labour market are not aware of all of the different businesses and opportunities out there. In order to increase your chances of getting a job, and even your dream job, one wants to gather as much information as possible
The Yellowpages Are Not Dead Yet
If you chuckled at this tip go ahead and comment below, I will add your name to the list. Everyone whom I have told to use the Yellowpages to find a job has laughed at me, but I have always convinced them in the end that it is a great place to start. Many companies still take out advertisements in the Yellowpages, and it is still the first place I look when I am finding a job. The Yellowpages are especially helpful if you are new to a place or town. It can be used to quickly find out who the employers are in your area. Lawfirms, Engineering Offices, Cleaners, Contractors, Manufacturers, they are all there. If you know what industry you are interested in, you can quickly build a hit list of places to check out either in person or on the internet.
Phone a Friend
The old adage is true and can be your fastest route to a new job. As mentioned in our articles, most companies want to find someone that fits in their culture. Having a mutual friend put in the good word for you eliminates some of the guessing that an employer would have had to do. If you are a fresh graduate or still in school, most of your friends probably don’t have jobs either. In this situation your parents or some of their friends that you are close with are the ones that are in the best position to help you out. Don’t be pushy though. Ask once or mention it casually. Chances are they know you are looking for work and will be asking you if you are interested in a position they know of.
This form of job recruitment is becoming more popular. Companies are creating fan pages and asking prospective employees to join there group so they can pre-screen them. Yes, that is what they are doing even if they say that they are not. This was one of my friend’s jobs and was used to see what type of person you were before an interview was even offered.
Social media’s strength is not in the company’s fan pages; there is too much competition present for you to waste your time. Most people have switched to social media as their go to form of communication, and this is where you can use social media to aid in your job search. When a company is looking to hire a new employee, they will first ask those that they already employ if then know someone that they can recommend. The theory is that people keep friends that are similar to them, so if you are a good worker, chances are your friend is too. Plus, people are less likely to recommend a bad worker, because that would just make them look bad. So how does social media fit in? Post a quick advertisement to your friends and keep an eye on your friend’s post. Something might pop up.
Check Out The Companies That Work for Your Favorite Company
Every company out there has a number of suppliers and distributors that support their operations. These complementary companies tend to be smaller but are a perfect place for fresh graduates to start. While you are out applying to your #1 company apply to these complementary companies. If you don’t get your #1 choice, a place in these complementary companies will give you good experience, allow you to learn the industry and some of the names within it, and prepare you for when you want to try to apply to your #1 again. To use my industry as an example, I work in a building design firm. Some of the complementary companies to my firm would be construction companies, product manufacturing companies, companies that specialize in product sales, and even municipalities managing new building projects. If I wanted to apply to GM, I would also apply to some of the original equipment manufacturers such as Magna, Westcast, or Delphi. Remember you don’t have to stay at a single company for life and a smaller company will teach you more and allow you to acquire more skills than a larger company will. You will have an easier time applying to your dream company after a few years of hard work at these smaller companies.
If you go to a career fair to look for work, be ready to sell yourself on the spot. Many of the companies who attend these fairs have positions available waiting to be filled, or are just looking for a good candidate in general. I have watched a recruiter tell someone all the interview spots were full and then turn around and offer an interview to the person standing next to them. Competition is tough, so be prepared. I feel that career fairs are more beneficial to someone who has been working for a few years, but if you have never held a job a career fair is still a good place to learn what companies are out there.
Take a notepad with you and browse through the company booths. Jot down some names of companies that look interesting to you and check out their websites when you are at home. If you can, try to get the names of the company representatives. Usually a quick conversation will be enough to see what they are looking for or what positions are available. If they sound like they are open to looking at your resume you can either hand them a generic one on the spot or get their name and email and sent them a personalized one later complete with cover letter. I have had some success with the later approach and would recommend it. It shows that you are not just handing out sheets of paper and are willing to put some time into your search. Try both out though, there are lots of companies to try different techniques to see which works best.
I mention the classifieds because there are still a ton of jobs posted there. You might be looking for a summer job to keep busy, and this is a great place to look if you are not afraid of a little work and to do something different. Don’t ignore the rural areas either, they really need people who know how to work. Many towns have a hard time finding people to work because they have all left to go to the city. Vegetable and fruit farmers have to fly people in from South America and the Caribbean or otherwise their crops will rot in the field. Yes the work is a little hard, but the pay is not bad. You will get a tan, get fed well, and will meet other students who have the same mentality (or have read the same article). Convince a few friends to come along with you and have a great summer together.
Another place that is looking for lots of help in the summer are manufacturing plants. These businesses have lots of staff leaving on holidays for the summer and are looking for temporary staff to fill the void; this is where students shine. Again the work is not hard and the pay is good. It might be tough to get in though if these places are unionized as they will give preferential treatment to the children of the union members, but it is worth a shot.
Job Search Engines and the Internet
I actually don’t like the internet very much (yes, I know I am a poor example of a mid 20 year old), or job search engines, but they do remain a place to be checked. I mention job search engines at the bottom of the list because I feel they are the least effective. Many people will apply to these postings so your chances of success will be less. The smallest mistake in your resume will earn it a spot at the bottom of the blue bin. If you do sign up to a search engine, limit yourself to one or two. Don’t spend all of your time on it, or rely on it as your only method of finding a job. If you do find a job on there that looks promising, go and check the company website for the same posting. Usually they will list positions here as well, and these may be able to be applied to directly. By approaching it this way the resume will be sent straight to the inbox of your prospective employer instead of them pulling it off the job search website along with countless others.
Remember, Don’t Ignore the Little Guys
The big companies get a lot of attention when it comes to jobs. Their layoffs are advertised in the media along with the new jobs they will create. But for all of the attention they receive they are not they are only the minority when it comes to employment numbers. Aside for the government, the number one employer is small to medium sized businesses. They are the office around the corner or your local industry. They need good help too but often go unnoticed. Being smaller they don’t have the resources to commit to job advertisement and will tend to use methods other than job search engines on the internet. My first job out of university was a temporary job working for my friends dad (2008 wasn’t the best time to graduate as many of you know). I found a job in the fall by walking into a company and handing in a resume. They just laid someone off and were thinking of filling the position but didn’t get around to posting an add. I basically showed up at the right time and got the job. Yes it was extremely lucky, but that is what it takes sometimes. The point is that I didn’t set around and wait for a job to come to me, I went out there and got one.
There are other places where one can look for work. Share your tips in the comments below for what worked for finding a job.