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10 Crucial Career Matching Resources
Looking for your first job, climbing out of the unemployment pool, or looking to evolve from the rat race; job hunting is just a pain. Putting all those jobs at your fingertips is only the beginning.
Why Care About Job Hunting?
Most of us at some point will have to acquire a job to get through life. Sometimes a person may be lucky to get their dream job early on, but statistically, a person will have 5 different jobs throughout their life. To some people, jobs can be laid out before them, such as family business. Others will toil away at their own endeavors, hoping to create a profitable business, big or small. For the rest of us, we need to start looking outside of the family and sometimes out of our communities for gainful employment.
Whatever your qualifications, no matter your standards or needs, it all starts with simply finding a job that is hiring. This can be the single most challenging part of the job hunting process. Everything after the job hunt comes down to proving to the potential employer why they should hire you over the next person. That is nothing more than selling yourself. If you never thought you wanted to be in sales, sorry to break the news to you: we are all salesmen and women to some degree, like it or not.
Let the Job Search Begin!
There are a variety of job searches a person can do to look for work. Some of us are a bit more familiar with the song and dance. At least today there is a plethora of websites dedicated to helping you and I find a job. But not all of them are geared toward helping you find 'that' job you might be looking for. Whatever your driving force is, here are some suggestions:
1. What kind of work are you looking for?
This will help you to figure out where you should begin searching for work. If you know you want to work with children then include that in your search criteria. These sites will have options to help narrow down your search:
www.monster.com - Offers career advice, can help you build a resume if you do not have one.
www.indeed.com - A bit like monster without the career advice.
www.careerbuilder.com - Same as monster with job alerts and mobile options.
2. Where would you like to work?
This can be very broad, such as anywhere in the country, or can narrow it down to, I want to work within 5 miles from my home. Obviously, opportunities dwindle the more specific you are, but the advantage is that you can refine your search to include very specific criteria. Once you have narrowed it down you can search local newspapers online to start.
3. For whom would you like to work?
Most people may have a dream job they would like to have, but would be fine working for just about any employer, as long as the pay and benefits are right. Some people are not even that picky, especially those looking for their first jobs, or something to keep the heat on during the winter. This is called working out of necessity, which to some degree, is what we all do. I will speak for myself and say that I wouldn't go to work every day if I didn't need to, or want to have a higher standard of living. But I do know there are some specific jobs with specific employers I would love to have a crack at. Go directly to these business websites to help increase your odds of success. Some other sites for professionals:
www.theladders.com - General career climbing website.
www.efinancialcareers.com - Financial careers only.
4. Could a government job be in your future?
If you did not know, the government has their own retirement system. It changes the name depending on the location, but there is the FERS or Federal Employees Retirement System and PERS Public Employees Retirement System. Either of them is significantly better than the average retirement system. This with all kinds of benefits is a draw for many people to seek government employment. To help you look for government jobs, be sure to look for city, county, state, and federal jobs. Education jobs fit in this same category. Here are a few links to check out if you are interested:
www.careeronestop.org - State jobs website hosted by the Department of Labor
www.usajobs.gov - Federal government job search.
5. Are you a Veteran needing job assistance?
First of all, all veterans get government preference points just for serving in the military. There are more qualifiers, but as long as you were not dishonorably discharged you can gain a 5 or 10 point preference when applying for government jobs. What I did want to share is the Veteran Administrations free resource for job assistance and placement:
http://www.benefits.va.gov/vocrehab/ - Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment.
6. Want to join the efforts of many who give selflessly at home and abroad?
I'm not talking about the military. I am however talking about non-profits such as the Peace Corps or Red Cross. These jobs can take you just about anywhere in the world to go help out other communities in need. There are of course many non-profits in our local communities which are in need of good employees as well. If you have always had a desire to do this type of work check out the following links:
http://www.peacecorps.gov/ - Peace Corps opportunities.
http://www.redcross.org/about-us/careers - Red Cross careers.
http://www.idealist.org/ - Non-profit opportunities.
7. Looking to defend our freedoms and have the experience of a lifetime?
Now this one is about joining the military. For those who are young enough to still consider the military as an option, don't turn your nose away at it until you learn more about what the United States military has to offer. I'm not going to try to recruit you, but if you have even the slightest bit of interest in seeing what the military has to offer go to a local recruiter and check out:
http://www.usmilitary.com/ - Information on our military but best to see a local recruiter.
8. Consider your social media contacts.
When it comes down to it, social media has made its way into nearly every aspect of our lives. Why not use it to help find a job? Sometimes your best job contacts can be with people in the business you are trying to get into. Publicly announcing everything on Facebook or Twitter may not get you the job you want, but one highly recommended social media site was voted #1 by Forbes magazine as the best job search tool:
www.linkedin.com - LinkedIn website for establishing job connections.
9. Utilize all of your resources.
Earlier I had mentioned to look into your local newspaper website, but don't forget there are real newspapers still out there that are dripping full of classified ads with help wanted in the headings. Some cities may also have free papers in distribution which will often have help wanted ads. Of course there's always the old fashioned inquiring to the help wanted sign in the store window. Many of these and more can be found on sites such as this:
www.craigslist.com - Ultimate garage sale site even including employment opportunities.
10. No idea where to go next?
The job hunting process is just daunting - no way around it. If you are not finding the above links specifically helpful, check out this site which will give you more links to chew on than you know what to do with:
http://www.quintcareers.com/ - The ultimate job seekers database of job search websites and tools.
Go Sell Yourself!
Now that you have many resources, begin picking off the pile, and start selling yourself to your future employer. There's no better time than the present to think about changing your future.