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Finding a Job

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You know exactly what kind of career you want. Your resume is perfect. You've forced your friends to spend hours asking you practice interview questions. Everything is in order, except maybe you don't know how to go about finding a job.

The first step is to shift your networking skills into high gear. Start asking friends and family members to ask their co-workers, friends, hairdressers, optometrists, accountants and other acquaintances, if they've heard of available, relevant job openings, or if they know of someone to whom you ought to talk. 

Another good way to make connections is to contact your college alumni office or career services center to see if either has a list of alumni who have volunteered to serve as mentors and contacts to young job seekers. 

Also, if you've held internships, get in touch with your employers and co-workers from those experiences and ask if they can point you in the right direction. 

While there's truth to the adage that the best jobs are never advertised, that doesn't mean you can't find a good job outside the networking realm.

The most important thing to remember is that a job search is often like a roller-coaster ride. You might find some great opportunities, only to find that positions have been filled. In turn, you might investigate something you don't think you're interested in, only to strike a gold mine.

Keep your head up and keep pushing forward. As long as you're persistent and patient, you will either find a good job, or you'll find one that will serve as a transitional job that will open doors for you.

  • Job search and post your resume at Internet job banks. Job banks are an integral component of modern job searching. You'll need an "electronic" version of your resume to copy and paste into the online forms at job banks (and to send by email).
  • Visit trade Web sites for the career field in which you're interested. Often, occupations have professional associations with Web sites that include job listings. If you don't know the name of the association or trade organization that unifies your potential colleagues, do a Web search or ask someone in the field. The Web sites are also an excellent way to cull contact names.
  • Attend job fairs. Many job seekers overlook these important events, not realizing that employers attend explicitly to hire (some do so right on the spot). You can usually find advertisements for job fairs in your local newspaper and at the producers' Web sites. The latter typically offer more details than newspapers. Many job fair producers even allow you to job search online and submit your resume to participating employers you target ahead of job fairs dates.
  • Visit the Web sites of companies for which you would like to work. See if they have job listings posted on their sites. To search for a company's Web site, start by typing its full name in your Web browser, where you'd normally type a URL. That typically finds the company's Web site or displays a page of search-results links. See also Best Companies.
  • If you're interested in working for a medium- or large-sized company, call the human resources departments and ask if they have job openings.
  • Read the employment classified ads in your local newspaper. If you want to relocate, find out which newspapers serve the places you'd like to live, and then browse the employment classifieds on the Web.

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