How to Find a Job

By Ted Daywalt   

This article will briefly give you ideas about what you need to do to find a job. No two job searches are the same as each individual has different needs. Thus, it is incumbent on you to get creative and find those tools and sources that will assist you in your search for a job.

Conducting a job search is not unlike working a construction project. There are a wide variety of tools that one uses when working a construction project. Each tool is used for a specific purpose. In the same manner, there are many job search tools available to assist you in your job search. Just as there is no one tool that is the perfect tool for an entire construction project, there is no one tool that is the perfect tool for finding a job. So you need to learn how to use all of them.

To assist you in your job search, here are the major job search tools that will put you on your way toward success in your job search. This is not meant to be a comprehensive list, but a guide to assist you in finding a job.

When going into a job search, keep in mind why employers make hires. They look for experience, education, trainability, location, cultural fit, certifications (if applicable) and attitude. The most important of these seven items is ATTITUDE. No employer wants to hire someone who exhibits a poor attitude. Attitude is one of the major reasons why candidates fail interviews. Prepare yourself accordingly.

1. Keep a journal

You have to be organized. Looking for a job is a full time job. You need to keep track of everything you are doing, so start a journal and log everything you do. You will need to make appointments, set aside research time, schedule yourself. You can do this using a notebook, ACT or some way to keeping a record of everyone you meet, talk to, jobs to which you applied, notes sent to contacts, etc.

2. Know what you want to do

To be effective in a job search it helps if you know what you want to do. Just like taking a trip, if you do not know where you want to go, any road you take will get you there. The problem is when the trip is completed you may not be where you want to be. So it helps to be focused and have strong ideas of what type of career you are seeking and what type of job within that career best meets your needs.

If you are trying to ascertain what type of career you want or for what type job you are best suited, go to VetJobs and in the Veterans drop down bar click on the Career Advisor, an outstanding career assessment test provided by Candidate Resources, Inc (CRI) of Dallas, TX. This is a free career assessment test you can take that gives you guidance on what you might want to do or are best suited to do. While it normally costs $250, CRI has been donating the test to veterans and their spouses and for that we are all thankful. CRI is a strong supporter of the military.

3. Research

Once you figure out what type of career field you are seeking and the job type within that career field, you should visit the VetJobs (www.vetjobs.com) Employment Assistance page (https://www.vetjobs.com/vetEmpAssistance.htm) and the articles concerning putting together a resume, networking, two-minute drill/elevator speech, etc. You need to research those companies for which you think you may want to work.

4. Put together a resume

You will need a resume. Actually, you will need several, which is easy with word processing programs. Tailor each resume submitted to the job to which you are applying. For assistance on writing your resume, see the resume articles in the Employment Assistance section on VetJobs. As a general rule, you do not have to pay someone to put together a resume as the Internet has ample articles and samples to follow. However, there are those candidates who may find themselves in a position where they do need paid help. But be careful.

5. Post your resume if out of work

If you are out of work, you should post a resume on VetJobs and to all job sites that have the types of jobs you are seeking. Employers as a general rule will not look at old resumes, so refresh your resume on a weekly basis.

6. Do not post a resume if still working

If you are still working and looking to change jobs, be very wary of posting your resume to an internet job board. No job board can guarantee that your current employer will not see your resume. The best way to protect yourself is to not post your resume, only send it direct to an employer. If your employer knows you are leaving, then do post a resume to job boards.

7. Responding to postings

When responding to a job posting, VetJobs generally encourages candidates to only respond to those postings where you know the employer to which you are responding. There are those companies who put up a blind job to see if any of their employees are looking for work outside the company. And there are third party recruiters post blind jobs in order to collect resumes. Beware of sites that require you to register to respond to a job posting. Some have been known to sell your information.

There are thousands of jobs on VetJobs right now. To search jobs on VetJobs (www.vetjobs.com) you can drop the Age of Jobs to All Jobs, pick your state and the first 1,000 jobs in your area will be displayed. You can also search by keyword and by category on the Search Jobs page. There is a tutorial on the Search Jobs page called Tips On Conducting Job Searches. Be sure to read the tutorial as you will get better results on your job searches. Keep in mind that job boards operate different types of search engines, so learn what you need to do to be effective on each site you use. Note that on VetJobs you can apply direct to the employers.

8. Using search engines

A good technique to find jobs is to use search engines, frequently referred to as “Googling for a Job”. While many companies post their jobs to internet job boards, there are many companies, cities, counties, state governments and school boards who do not. To find these jobs, it is effective to make use of search engines. Commonly used search engines include www.google.com, www.bing.com, www.ask.com and www.yahoo.com. When using a search engine, in the keyword search field, type a search string using a job title, job/employment, and city or state.

      Examples:

  • Paralegal job Ft Myers
  • Driver employment Atlanta
  • Human resources manager employment California
  • Mechanical engineer job Marietta
  • Iowa schools job
  • Franklin County School Board jobs
  • Los Angeles County Public Works Job

With practice you can develop very good search strings to find the type of job you are seeking. While you will get a lot of trash back, you will also get back jobs that are put on company web sites but may not be on internet job boards.

But be careful when using search engines as you will get all sorts of jobs sites coming back. Scammers have learned this and have set up “fly paper” sites that look like a career site, but want to you buy a catalogue or pay for assistance to find a job. Do not pay people to help you find a job. Certain industries are rife with fly paper sites, notably acting, modeling and cruise ship entertainment. Be sure you are dealing with a legitimate job site before you give away any information such as your phone number, email address, mailing address, etc. Under no circumstances should you ever give your social security number or credit care information to a job site!

9. Recruiting firms

You should check with the local third party recruiting firms as they can be a good source for locating a job. There are contingency search firms, retained search firms, contract search firms and temporary search firms. You can find these recruiting firms in your local yellow pages or visit one of these sites:

While using a recruiter can be effective in finding a job, do not let a recruiter tell you that their firm is the only recruiting firm with whom you can work. Remember, when using a third party recruiter, the object is for you to get a job, not make them a commission. Recruiters work for the employer, not you.

10. Do not pay to find a job

VetJobs recommends that you NOT pay someone to help you find a job. Professional recruiters are paid by the employer, not the candidate.

11. Networking

Now is the time to get out and let everyone you know you are looking for a job. The term is networking. Formal networking includes attending business and social meetings, career ministries, networking groups and association meetings or events. You will find that many of the participants have the same goals you do and will be glad to exchange business cards, leads or point you to a company that might be hiring for the job you are seeking.

Here are some good sites to get you started on networking:

12. Interviewing

Interviewing is critical to your obtaining a job. The only interviewing technique that can consistently withstand a challenge in a labor court of law is Behavioral Interviewing (BI), which is why so many companies now use BI. Many candidates are not making the cut due to the BI interview process which is very structured and disturbing to those candidates who have not encountered a BI before. Please read the articles on BI in the VetJobs Employment Assistance section and practice interviewing.

13. Use the Department of Labor

As you are a veteran, you should also check with the veteran representative at your local Department of Labor office (DOL). DOL offices have many resources that can be of assistance in your job search. For a listing by state, visit http://www.dol.gov/vets/aboutvets/contacts/main.htm.

14. Training

It may be that your skill set is obsolete or you need training. As a veteran you may be eligible to receive additional job skill training either from DOL Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS) or from the Veterans Administration. A veteran representative at you local Department of Labor office can assist you with these issues.

15. Veterans Administration

If you were injured while on active duty (does not have to be combat related) or have any disabilities from your time in the military, you may be eligible for additional training and medical care and compensation. To find out if you qualify, you can start by calling the VA, but it is best to contact a service officer at a local Veterans of Foreign Wars (www.vfw.org). Post or American Legion (www.legion.org). Post, or a service officer with a Disabled American Veterans (www.dav.org) chapter. They can help you navigate through the VA maze.

16. Federal Jobs

      Sites for finding federal jobs include

17. State Jobs

If you are seeking a state government job, you will need to go to the state site (you can find it with a search on a search engine) and apply directly to the state. Very few states use commercial job boards. No two states are the same, so you will have to ferret out the application process via the state’s web site.

18. Print Media

Print media frequently lists jobs. Check the local newspapers, association magazines, local and job pamphlets that are usually found on the racks with the apartment guides. These might be a good source of jobs for you locally.

19. Community Assistance Programs

Many communities have job assistance programs, both government sponsored and private, in local churches, veterans groups and community groups. It varies from community to community, so ask around and find these sources of help. They are a great networking source.

20. Franchises

Another way to get a job is to go the route of buying a franchise. Veterans make great franchisees. With your proven leadership abilities and superior training, former military personnel have the skills so many franchisors look for in a franchisee. The whole basis of franchising is that you take a successful business and replicate it so that it works for other people in other regions. Systems and procedures are developed to keep the franchise consistent from store to store and to make sure the customers at each location receive the same high quality experience. To get started looking at a franchise, visit FranChoice (www.franchoice.com) and VetFran (www.vetfran.com).

21. Job Fairs

Start attending job fairs. You can find career fair events in your local newspaper, radio and on the internet. VetJobs maintains a national list of military related career fairs at https://vetjobs.com/media/job-fairs/. You can make good contacts, network and maybe find a job at a career fair.

22. Internet Job Boards

Many studies indicate that the internet has surpassed networking as the dominant way candidates find work in all levels of jobs, from hourly wage jobs to senior executive jobs. Online recruiting is moving from the comprehensive mega job boards towards more specialized niche job boards which provide the candidate and the recruiter more focus. A survey of 3,900 human resources managers found that 84% identified their best candidates from niche job boards. And a WEDDLE’s survey found 34% of 3,000 candidates who found a job used an Internet job board. A Booz Allen Hamilton year long survey designed to determine the recruiting practices of 73 of the largest employers found that over half of the new hires came from the Internet! 51% of the employers intend to use niche job boards.

There are several types of job boards. There are job boards called comprehensive sites where the site lists jobs from all types of disciplines. Examples are CareerBuilder, HotJobs, Monster, Vault, Jobing, Employment Guide, etc. These all purpose job boards try to be all things to all people. Some comprehensive job boards are hybrids as they list all types of jobs but for a specific affinity group of people.

There are two types of niche sites. There are job boards that list jobs in a specific discipline or affinity group (nursejobs.com, EngineeringJobs.com, VetJobs.com, marketingjobs.com, etc). Then there are geographic based job boards listing jobs located in a city, state or region (boisehelpwanted.com, columbusgeorgiaonline.com, jobsinnewyork.com, etc).

You will want to use both comprehensive and niche job boards in your job search.

A fourth category of job board is called aggregators. As a general rule, aggregators try to get feeds of jobs from other job boards, they send out spiders to copy jobs from other job boards or they manually copy jobs from other job boards. Several aggregators claim to have every job posted on the internet. They do not.

Since aggregator sites do not originate most of their postings, an issue with aggregators is many of the positions listed are very old and not currently available. Since the aggregator copied the job from another site, they do not know when to remove the job. Niche sites generally do not have this problem as employers post the jobs and remove the jobs when filled.

Many aggregator job sites provide listings for job boards that do not have many jobs or a sales force. These are feeds provided by the aggregator sites to job boards like militaryjobzone.com and others. You will note at the bottom or near the jobs terms like “Jobs by Indeed” or “Jobs by SimplyHired”. This tells you the site you are visiting does not actually have the jobs or many jobs, but the job aggregator provides their jobs or augments the jobs on their site to make it look like the site is a large site.

CAUTIONS TO CONSIDER WHEN USING JOB BOARDS

BEWARE of any job board that makes you register in order to apply to a job. We have found that some of the sites that make you register to apply to a job are selling your information. That said, there are sites that now make you submit a code or register to enter the site in order to prevent the aggregator sites from copying their jobs which has become a big problem. The bottom line here is to use sense when entering a site.

BEWARE of any job board where you can not apply directly to the employer. One has to ask what the site is doing with your information if you cannot directly access the employer.

BEWARE of any job board that does not give a physical location and/or phone number so you can contact them. Sites that do not provide this information may be front sites for some other purpose.

BEWARE of job boards that list jobs that are not part of the job board description. Example, while doing the research for our lists, cruiseshipjobsnetwork.com had jobs listed for the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). Quite obviously, DIA is not in the cruise ship line business.

Remember, caveat emptor applies to using many internet job boards.

ASSOCIATION JOB SITES

Many associations list job openings in their discipline or industry. To find the best listing of associations by industry, please visit WEDDLE’s Association Directory at www.weddles.com/associations/. While at the WEDDLE’s site, be sure to read Peter Weddle’s Tips for Success – http://www.weddles.com/tips/seekers.htm.

JOB BOARD SITES

Please visit the Employment Assistance section of www.vetjobs.com to find lists of job boards by employment function, by geographic location, comprehensive job boards and aggregator sites.