Locating A Job

Applying a dedicated and systematic approach to locating a job can simplify the process of finding a job. The goal of each process is to make contact with a prospective employer for the purposes of setting up an interview. Here are a number of a useful techniques and resources that can be used to find your next job.


Networking is the process of talking with people to learn more about the opportunities that exist in the marketplace. Inform as many people as possible, including family, friends, former co-workers and business associates, that you are searching for employment. Networking can be highly effective and often the best path to the jobs you won’t find advertised anywhere.

For most people the key to networking is overcoming your fear or reluctance to let others know you are out of a job. No matter how you feel about asking for help most people are more than willing to help if you approach them in a considerate manner.

Networking can be conducted by telephone, e-mail, or by regular mail. Job fairs and industry trade shows can also be a great place to let people know you’re in the market for employment.


Search firms are another avenue of approach for job-seekers who have specialized skills. Many search firms work for the employer. Their goal is to find the right match for the company.

There are two basic types of search firms: contingency firms and retainer firms.

Contingency firms are paid by a company only when the individual presented by the is hired. The contingency firm is generally paid a fee as high as one third of the employee’s first year salary.

Retainer firms are paid by the company to locate qualified candidates. They are paid a standard fee for their services regardless of whether their candidate is hired.

Employment Agencies

Employment agencies offer another opportunity to locate work. Their role is to represent your skills and background to potential employers. In many cases the employer compensates them for their services. However, a few agencies charge the employee for their services – usually a percentage of their first year’s wages.

A couple of well-known national employment agencies also operate temporary agencies. Based on your skill set and available opportunities they often can place people in positions on a short-term basis.

Mass Mailings

Mass mailing or targeted mailings involve sending a letter of interest to a list of potential employers. Creating mail lists, preparing the letters, and printing labels can be a time consuming and an expensive proposition. In many cases the results can be rather disappointing given the amount of work involved. A targeted mail effort followed up with a phone call can substantially improve your results.

Classified Employment Advertisements

Classified ads can be a great place to start your job search. Many companies who advertise in the newspaper also place their ads on the Internet. In many markets the Sunday edition of the newspaper contains the most employment classified ads.

Responding to classified ads requires careful analysis of the job description. Often employers may receive as many as 50 to 100 resumes from an ad. Next they will attempt to narrow their selection down to a handful of candidates for interviews. You can save yourself time, money and frustration by making sure your skills and experience match a majority of the job requirements mentioned in the ad.

When replying to a job opportunity listed in a classified ad make a list of the job requirements discussed in the ad. In your cover letter respond to each item on the list point by point. Remember to frame your responses in terms of how your skills and experiences will benefit the employer.


The phone is the job seeker’s weapon of choice. One of the most efficient ways to learn about job opportunities is to pick up the phone and call the potential employer. You can start by asking for the Human Resource office. They will usually tell you if they have any openings in your field along with the steps you will need to take to be considered as a candidate.

Career Centers

Almost every college and university operates a career center. Career centers usually offer a place where students and alumni can research information about prospective employers. Often they maintain a bulletin board of recruiters who will be conducting interviews. Interviewing with a job recruiter is sometimes as easy as adding your name to the sign-up list. In some cases, particularly with state-funded institutions, the career planning centers are open to the public. Call your local college or university career center for more details.

Employment Centers

Employment centers are generally operated by local or state agencies and offer an abundance of job opportunities. The job announcements are usually posted on bulletin boards located on the premises. The job announcement will list the steps you need to take to apply for the position. Employment Centers post new jobs frequently so it is well worth your time to check the job listings once a week.

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