Conducting Job Searches Tips

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What is the most effective means of finding a job?

Job Search Networking

Overall, the most effective way of conducting a job search is networking. The best part about networking is that the more friends you make, the wider your network! Because really, that's all that networking is - meeting people, making friends, and talking about your business (your business is YOU!).

By networking, you'll find people who know about unadvertised jobs. Talk to people you know and find out about their companies - ask them to do internal job searches. They can tell you the right person to send your resume to; and you'll have one of the most sought after types of references: somebody who knows the employer.

This kind of networking is great for everyone. You get a good reference from a trusted source and your friend may get a bonus for bringing in a referral that is hired.

You shouldn't conduct your job search solely by networking, but you definitely shouldn't conduct a job search without it.


Job Fairs

Job fairs mostly focus on entry level employment and in that regard can be terrific. That said, even middle managers can visit a job fair, give out a business card, make contact and make a good impression and then get a referral from a recruiter for a differnt division or department within the same company.

How do I best conduct my job search?

Mastering Job Searches

Conducting a job search is always a stressful and labor intensive process. Between job search engines, networking, resume and resume cover letter writing, not to mention the interview process, it is no wonder that no one is anxious to dive into the job market.

Learn how to conduct more efficient and less stressful job searches with our job search tips! Learn about job search engines, how to conduct effective company research, networking, recruiters and more!

Where should I search for jobs?

Job Search Resources

There are many resources for finding available jobs. Here are a few of the most popular mediums for conducting job searches:

• Job search engines
• Company websites
• Help wanted ads
• Libraries
• State employment offices
• Career fairs
• Employment agencies
• Headhunters
• People you know (networking)

A balanced job search campaign should leverage all of your resources and are bolstered by a solid resume and cover letter. Leave no stone unturned!

What is an outplacement agency?

Job Search Outplacement Agency

Outplacement agencies provide career counseling, temporary office space, and clerical support to help displaced employees find new jobs.

The former company typically pays the associated fees as part of a severance package agreement. These placement agencies are not only valuable for their career counseling, but for their ability to turn the negative into the positive. If you have been laid off or let go, take advantage of the service being provided!

Are “resume blasters” effective?

Job Search Resume Blaster

A “resume blaster” is a fee-based resume distribution service that electronically sends resumes to hundreds or thousands of recruiters.

Unfortunately, these services aren't very effective. Recruiters consider these unsolicited emails to be spam, so they simply delete them.

The chances of your resume being reviewed and valued are very small so don't waste your time.


When is the right time to follow a lead?

Follow leads immediately. When someone suggests you call their friend, don't put it off. Call right away. If you're not ready for the interview yet, just say hello and let them know you'll call back again soon.

What are the benefits to using an executive search firm?

Executive Search Firms

There are several benefits associated with using executive search firms if you are at that level of your career. Clearly, if you are an entry level candidate, this is not the venue for you, but these job search firms like these are incredible effective at matching the right exercutive with the right firm.

1. Executive search firms find contacts and positions that are either not advertised, or quietly advertised. Many companies don't want to publicly disclose their need for a candidate because it may make them vulnerable to their competitors. This is precisely why executive headhunting firms were created.

2. Job headhunters do the work for you because they get a commission when they place someone in your company. We all know that finding a candidate can be arduous and aggravating. You can continue to focus on your current job while a headhunter is conducting job searches for you.

3. Search firms are thorough about assessing a job's requirements and your requirements, so you don't have to worry about a job being right for you and your employer doesn't have to worry about finding qualified applicants. This screening process helps ensure that you will be placed in a job that is right for you.

4. The employer pays the fee. In many cases, the cost of the search firm process is worth it to save your employer the time and resources in conducting a job search.

What does a career counselor do?

Job Search Counselor

A career counselor is hired by jobseekers to help prepare in conducting job searches. The diverse range of services offered may include skills assessment, interview practice, or personality testing.

A career counselor is a good choice for someone who is experiencing prolonged difficulty with finding a job or for someone who has the resources and is changing industries, or embarking on a new career alltogether. Get all the help you can, just make sure you choose a reputable career counselor with a proven track record.

Should I list people whom I haven’t spoken with in a long time as professional references?

Job Search Reference List

It's generally a good idea to exclude people whom you haven't spoken with recently from your reference list. One risk is that the reference won't have a clear recollection of you or what you did. The other risk is that the employer may wonder why you can't come up with references from your most recent jobs.

If you feel that a long-lost reference is too valuable to exclude, you must make sure that all the contact information is current. Don't be afraid to give them a call either, and ask if they will still be a reference for you. Chances are they will, and they may come to you at some point to return the favor!

Is it okay to send my resume instead of filling out an online application?

Job Search Online Application

Although you may find it to be cumbersome, you should always fill out an employer's online application instead of simply sending a resume.

The employer has the system in place for a reason, so you should leave a good first impression by showing that you know how to follow instructions.

What are the downsides of using a recruiter?

Job Search Recruiter

Although there are several benefits to using job recruiters, there are also a few downsides.

1. You are not the only jobseeker that an individual headhunter is working with. If you are not the cream of the crop, then your resume may be put on the bottom of the pile.
2. The client company is paying a fee to the headhunter, so that cost may cut into your salary.
3. Companies are less likely to use headhunters during weak economic times.

Remember though, that a headhunter will get a commission if you get hired, so it is in their best interest to get you hired. This is why you should not solely depend on a headhunter, but they are not a bad resource to leverage if you can.

Should I use as a relative as a job reference?

Job Search Reference Advice

For experienced professionals, all your job references should be people with whom you dealt in a professional setting. They don't necessarily have to be your boss, they could be a coworker who has done extensive work with you and can give some good insight as to who you are and how you operate in a professional environment.

Don't include your mother or your high school track coach. Employers want to know how you act at work, not at home.

Where can I find information about a company?

Company Research for Job Search

Researching a potential employer is not only important in crafting your resume and cover letter and for preparing for your interview - its also important for establishing whether or not the company is a good fit for you.

One of the great job search tips: there are many different resources for finding information about a company. Here are a few of the most reliable resources:

• The company's website (perhaps the most important resource)
• Hoover's Online
• Dun & Bradstreet
• Employees
• Library
• News

The wonderful thing about the internet is that you probably can do all the job search research from the comfort of your home. If not, your local library is a great resource!

What is a headhunter?

Job Headhunters

If you have put your resume up on Monster or CareerBuilder, you may receive phone calls from firms out there that place candidates at companies for a fee.

Job headhunters, also known as recruiters or job search consultants, are hired by client companies to find qualified candidates for positions within the client company. The client company pays their fees, which are commission based.

In some cases a company will have a staff of recruiters and headhunters looking for qualified candidates. If you find a good head hunter, they can be invaluable to your job search. Don't completely depend on them though. You should never solely depend on one source for prospective jobs.


Where do I find the right job for me?

Avoid and other huge job search engines as your "only" source. Craiglist might have some leads, but they're often entry-level. Keep your vision large and knock on both professional doors (agencies and search engines) and informal ones (social networks and even volunteer organizations).

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Carma Spence-Pothitt