LESSON 1: Where to Search for a Job
In my 40 years of work life, the job search process has morphed dramatically. Where once you knocked on a workplace door in your best outfit and inquired about hiring, filling out a form in handwriting in a nervous scrawl, now, almost without fail, job solicitations are done online and supporting documentation is submitted electronically. Where once, there may have been but a handful of candidates for any one job, in the electronic era in which we live, there are often hundreds if not thousands, of applicants for most jobs posted. I’ve been tasked with reviewing job applications, both for a large corporation and a small one, and have been amazed at how many names there were to review.
Looking for a job can seem daunting, especially when the media often leads us to believe the employment situation is dire. I’m not discounting the fact that it is difficult for many. What I am offering you in this series is there are ways to find jobs of which you may not be aware and how to find them.
Today’s thread covers where to look. Searching for a job on an ongoing basis can seem daunting and obsessive. Having to check back daily for jobs can seem disappointing. My suggestion to you is, where possible, use search engines that will send the results of queries you save to you daily (or in the timeframe you choose) directly into your inbox. In that way, you don’t have to hover over the site and perform the same search over and over again. The first couple I am going to offer you, I find especially beneficial and use them regularly with my museum list I referenced on Thursday. In order to be able to identify the search data from your regular email, where possible, I encourage you to set up filters so that those data are tagged front loading and more readily retrievable.
First, decide the key words on which you need to search. The same job can have multiple names, and you may want to also query on task-based terms to avoid overlooking something. For most of you, narrowing your search by geographical locale will help you separate the wheat from the chaff. For those seeking jobs harder to come by or are in careers that are becoming obsolete, you may need a broader search and, as we will talk about later, consider the possibility of moving (in another lesson, I’ll offer you a geographical salary calculator to help gauge your search).
As we go forward, and I provide you links to consider, you may wish to create a bookmark or set of favorites that incorporates these links for ready reference. Here is a listing of some of the job search engines I have found of merit, with caveats appended as appropriate.
These two have spiders that crawl across multiple employment sites pulling in the results:
http://www.simplyhired.com/ On September 13, within 24 hours, 6,036 jobs were posted
http://www.indeed.com/ On September 13, within 5 miles of Monrovia, over 1,200 jobs listed
CalJobs – California Based Jobs Posted on What Is Also the Unemployment Office Website
Los Angeles County Jobs
USAJobs – Federal Jobs
https://www.usajobs.gov/ On September 13, there 81 jobs in the LA area
You may also wish to search online newspapers:
LA Times (Uses CareerBuilder)
San Gabriel Valley Tribune/Pasadena Star News (Use Monster)
CareerBuilder and Monster are great sites. However, each has had problems with phishers and spammers who trolled for applicants trying to lure them in with false information or spam. I believe they have done a good job of cleaning up their security. Speaking personally, I would not post an online resume that contained readily available info that could compromise your safety or security, and I would exercise caution if approached for something of which you are not sure. Here are a couple of warnings about such sites. I’m not saying do not use them; just be careful.
Consider the merits of using a temporary or employment agency. Through time, I have had some very positive experience with temping. It allowed me to investigate a company from the inside while allowing them to examine my skills. Fact of the matter is that two of my longest held jobs (24 years and 9 years) were acquired through temporary work. Here are a couple of YellowPages searches of agencies in our area. Since I have been off the job market going on 10 years, I cannot speak to any one in particular.
Temporary Employment Agencies
http://www.yellowpages.com/monrovia-ca/employment-agencies (may be redundant)
Pointers on Search Firms
Headhunters are another option some may consider. I’ve had good friends who are highly degreed use them and been told they have had tremendous results. I investigated one about a dozen years ago and walked away knowing I would be better off on my own given the info available online. The headhunter wanted a large fee for service and wanted me to do nothing to look on my own for jobs while under contract. They did not guarantee finding a job, and they indicated it could be six months before anything turned up. They were a major brand, and I said thanks but no thanks. Your experiences may be different, so I offer the info here.
For those who want to work in the nonprofit world, there are search engines targeted to your needs:
Chronicle of Philanthropy
If there is a specific employer you would really like to work for, go to their website. Jobs are often posted there and/or they accept online resumes. The caveat is they do not retain those data in perpetuity, and you may have to reapply after whatever period of time they set for data retention.
If you hold a degree, you may wish to consider Teach for America as a stopgap until you can find the job you seek. You do not have to be a teacher to work for them but need to be qualified to get a credential. You are sent to teach in a classroom, are paid a salary, and, when last I checked, Teach for America also helped you to pay down college debt. I am not sure if they continue that practice but, if interested, you may wish to follow up.
Teach for America
LinkedIn is a form of social media I do not use. I am, therefore, less familiar and able to address it fully. Perhaps someone reading can comment and share their experiences. My understanding is you include electronic resume information and network with other professionals. It may also be a way to get jobs. I’ve had many invites from friends, but with retirement down the tunnel window, it is something I am less inclined to participate in, though I clearly would if I found myself in need.
Two last categories in the search. First, remember that a part of your job search is tax deductible. Be informed and set up a spreadsheet and repository for your receipts to itemize these things on your taxes.
Tax Deductions When Searching
Finally, for those who may have to consider moving in order to find a job, here are a few articles on the state of such moves.
On Job Moves
This list is by no means comprehensive, but I hope it gives you a place to start in your search. Happy hunting!
NEXT SUBJECT: Lesson 2 – How to Read a Job Ad