Whether you need a full-time position or just a part-time job to help cover the rent, treat your job search seriously—prospective employers can easily gauge your level of commitment. Do at least one thing every day to look for work; make a phone call, research companies or check out job boards; and keep track of everything you do.
Statistics reveal that at least 60% of all jobs get filled by networking, rather than through an advertisement or job board. Since you never know who could turn into a valuable network resource or connection; make the most of every contact you meet and every relationship you form.
Where to Look
You have employment resources all around you. The following list provides you with a number of different possibilities to begin your search:
- Search the internet for job postings.
- Post your resume to one or more job boards.
- Mail resumes to employers and companies that interest you.
- Answer employment ads in trade journals or publications that match your field.
- Answer local newspaper ads.
- Visit a local employment agency or search firm.
- Attend job fairs.
- Ask a former teacher or professor for job leads.
- Go to the state or federal employment office.
- Go to the office of any office or employer that interests you to see if they have any openings.
- Ask friends, neighbors and professionals to share any leads they might know of.
Experts recommend that you use more than one, but less than five of these methods while looking for a job to improve your chances of success. Don’t just try something once and give up—looking for a job requires persistence, time and effort. The more you put into it, the more will get out of it.
How to Apply
Companies have differing policies about how to apply for an open position. Most will request that you send a resume either through the mail, or via a fax and increasingly by e-mail. This allows them to narrow down the applicants for a position by eliminating those who skills or experience don’t match up with the opening they have.
When you respond to positions posted online, many companies will require you to complete their own specific form in addition to including an electronic version of your resume. Either when or before you arrive for an interview, they will give you their standard application form to complete. This ensures that they receive the same information from every applicant, since resumes come in so many different forms and varieties and therefore provide less standardized information.
Any standard application you complete should provide all the requested information in pen, written neatly and legibly or typed, if you have the opportunity to complete it ahead of time. Any typing errors or messy handwriting will convey information about you to potential employers, so take your time and represent yourself well.
It helps to take several copies of your resume along with you anytime you go anywhere related to your job search. That way you can leave it with the potential employer in addition to the standard application, and you can use it to help you complete dates and information on any forms the company requires.
If you plan to go personally to a company “just to fill out an application,” dress as if you had a scheduled interview. The reasons for this include the fact that sometimes after you complete the application they will have you meet with an HR representative, and you only get one chance to make a good first impression. Also, how you interact with the receptionist and the impression she forms of you in that brief amount of time, could end up affecting your chances of getting an interview later.