Finding A Job And Where To Look For Your Next Job

We already have a couple of articles related to resumesinterview 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

Finding a job
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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.

Social Media

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.

Career Fairs

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.

The Classifieds

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.


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12 years ago

Phoning a friend is the first step in networking! Networking is the best way to find hidden jobs. You know the ones that are never advertised because they do not want a deluge of resumes.

12 years ago

These are all great tips for finding a job. Personally, I have been laid off since August 2011 and have used many if not all of your suggestions. My career field is currently saturated (due to a proliferation of for profit schools). I am optimistic that I will find a job soon, but in the mean time I am definitely enjoying my time off.

Lately I have found social media and sites like LinkedIn to be great for finding jobs. In fact I get called regularly from companies who have found me on there. I think that by keeping your online profile up to date you can really open doors to who knows about you and job opportunities. Friends and family are also a great resource.

12 years ago

All great tips!

I will definitely include this post in my Weekend Reading roundup!

12 years ago

You nailed it on the phone a friend. It’s all about who you know, not what you know or can do. I was able to land a job for a friend who was in desperate need of a job (all because I knew the department head who was hiring)

12 years ago
Reply to  20's Finances

I hope that friend at least took you out for a round after!

12 years ago
Reply to  My Own Advisor

Thanks MOA.

12 years ago

I also agree that networking is one of the best option when looking for your next job. Start by building good relationships with your co-workers because you never know when they will leave your workplace and start working elsewhere. I see so many people finding work by utilizing their network. I have this network so if I ever need to change my job, I can always rely on this.

12 years ago

Okay…I got a summer job through the Yellow Pages. It wasn’t through an ad either; I cold-called a company and asked for an interview! It was the Chester County Migrant MInistry, which specialized in translating and other services for immigrants to deal with INS. It was right after graduating high school. It went very well, and I was hired. Woohoo!

12 years ago

That’s a cool job quest story! Was it fairly good pay since it required a fairly unique skill set?

Mr. Harvey
12 years ago

Thanks Amanda. Way to step up to the plate and support the Yellow Pages!

Mr. Harvey
12 years ago

I wish you all the best in your current job hunt Lisa. Sometimes the time between jobs can really drag on but it is worth noting that this transition time is completely normal. Unfortunately I can’t remember what the typical length of time is…three months sounds familiar. I know I have heard it in an economics class. Anyone remember?

12 years ago

I think the phone a friend approach is the best. I would extend that to phone a client, phone an associate you had a good laugh with. When someone vouches for you. You typically get the job or at least an interview.

12 years ago

Every job I’ve gotten is through people I know. There’s always a good chance someone you know is hiring or they know somebody who is. You just have to ask.

12 years ago

My advice for “not-so-obvious” places to look for jobs – your town’s chamber of commerce. Typically they will post recent relocations and expansions on their website. Good opportunities….

12 years ago
Reply to  funancials

I like that original suggestion funancials. The people down at the chamber of commerce are just good contacts to have for a variety of reasons.

12 years ago

I found my current position through LinkedIn – well actually they found me! I finally took the time to update my LinkedIn profile and I was contacted through LinkedIn about a position. The bad part was I didn’t check the account after that so I didn’t even see the message. They luckily sent me another message and I interviewed and got the job.
So if you do sign up for a social media profile, don’t forget to check your messages!

12 years ago

Great tip Jenny. Nothing would suck worse than learning you would have had a job if you only checked your mail!

Mr. Harvey
12 years ago

My wife just reminded me of another good place to look for jobs that I forgot to mention. Most professional organizations have an internal job posting for members. Most of these organizations accept student members at discount prices or even free. This is a great place to start networking and finding places to work.

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