Finding a job is all about finding leads. You need to apply to as many jobs as you can in order to find one that appeals to you and an employer. To do that, you need a search process that finds as many quality, available jobs in your field as possible.
Job boards with job listings are a natural place to start, but they’re not the only place to look. Your job search should be as wide as possible. This may involve thinking outside the box. Many of the best stories people have about finding a job begin with something creative and unconventional. The more established methods, however, are established for a reason. We’ve compiled a few to get you started.
While the widely-held perception that 80% of available jobs are unlisted or “hidden” is a myth, it’s true that many of the best job opportunities come through networking. Ask your friends if they know of any job opportunities. Ask your fellow students or coworkers. Ask your parent’s friends. It’s almost never socially awkward since many people have been in a similar situation. They will most likely try to help you if they can.
Networking is now something that also happens online. Use Facebook and Twitter to ask people for leads. If you have connections on Tumblr or Instagram, feel free to send them a message. LinkedIn is the social network that revolves around jobs and employment history. It’s a particularly effective resource for asking others if they know of any job opportunities.
Whether it’s online or off, make sure any job search involves activating your network. It may be your most valuable resource.
Ask a Professional
There are many different sorts of professionals who specialize in helping people find jobs. The guidance counselor or career center at your school should have access to the best job boards in your area. Starting with an expert opinion can help you quickly identify places where jobs are listed.
While the Internet is invaluable in today’s job searches, using Google to find job listings in your field can often be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Experts can help you find a much more targeted starting point.
Interview People Working in the Field
If there’s anyone you can introduce yourself to who has the sort of career you want, see if they will let you take them to lunch. People already working in the field can help you target your job search, making it more efficient and effective. They can also give you a good idea of what the job will be like when you get it — they may even give you inside information on whether some companies are better to work for than others. The experience of someone in the field can be invaluable as you evaluate and start your job search.
Check Government Sites
The federal, state, and local governments are all in the business of helping you find a job. Here are some job sites designed for students from Texas:
Cities often have their own job boards as well:
Be sure to look for whether your local government has a site like this to help with your search.
Search National Job Boards
There are companies that run job listing sites across the U.S. Monster.com runs one of the most comprehensive national job boards with hundreds of jobs listed across the state. Here are some other sites that have job listings in Texas and across the country:
Think Outside the Box
Many of the best jobs come from places you don’t expect. Energetic job seekers might start a blog or make their own website to pitch themselves to employers. You might consider dropping off an unsolicited resume at a company you want to work for, or putting a video on YouTube with a pitch to employers in your field. Sometimes an assertive or creative approach will separate you from the pack.
A job search takes energy and enthusiasm. There are many different places to find listings. It’s your job to use the resources available to you to find a placement in your field. If you’re a student at Vista College, our Career Services team can help prepare you for the job search.
Photo by Kate Hiscock