Maybe your current job just isn’t working out, or maybe you just graduated and are trying to get employed for the first time. The job market can be hard to crack in either case, no matter your age or experience. Start by networking and searching online for job openings, tailoring your resume and cover letter to match what employers are seeking, and then sending in stand-out applications. The process may seem daunting, but going in with determination and a plan will carry you through until you find the perfect opportunity.
Search online. Many, if not most, companies and organizations advertise open positions on employment websites and on company websites. If you know which company you want to work for, start by checking out their website. You will likely see a tab labeled “Job Openings” or “Career Opportunities.” Click the tab to see what is available.
- You can also use online job search engines to widen your search. Enter keywords and geographic location on popular sites such as Indeed, Jobs.com, TheLadders, Glassdoor, and LinkedIn.
- For example, if you are looking for a job as a medical equipment salesperson in Chicago, your search terms might be “sales” and “medical” and your geographic area would be “Chicago, Illinois”.
- Craigslist is also a good site to search. It is especially helpful if you are looking for immediate employment. Be sure to check out the company website and vet employers before you send in your resume and contact information, though!
Use social media sites. Social networking sites are not just for fun and keeping in touch with old friends. They can also help you find and apply for jobs. If you choose to use social media in your job search, consider setting your social profile to “private” and creating a new, professional profile that you share with potential employers. The following sites are great tools for job hunting:
- LinkedIn: You can use this site to create a professional online profile. You can post a biography that lets potential employers get to know you. You can also post your current resume for others to view.
- Twitter: People are increasingly using this tool to find jobs. If you’re familiar with Twitter, you can follow companies that you are interested in and see posts advertising jobs. You can also search the site using popular hashtags such as #jobs and #jobhunt.
Utilize your state job bank. You can also use the internet to search employment resources in your own state. Each state has an online collection of available jobs known as a job bank. Find the job bank for your state and start searching.
- Much like other job search engines, the state job banks will allow you to search by keyword and city.
Start networking. Networking is a chance to strengthen connections with people in your career field. It’s also a time to meet new people. Put yourself out there and start communicating with people who could be helpful in your job search.You can say something like, “I’m just getting started in marketing, and I wondered if you know of any opportunities that could be right for me.” If you can get a referral, your resume might just be pushed to the top of the list! Consider reaching out to:
- Former professors
- Past employers
- People at the company you want to work for
- Anyone you know who has a career similar to the one you want
Spread the word that you are job hunting. Friends and family can be great resources in your job hunt. They might know of openings that you aren’t aware of. They could also have a friend of a friend who is looking to hire. Make sure that everyone in your circle knows that you are looking for a new job.
- You can say, “I’m looking for a new job in publishing. Can you let me know if you hear of any openings in that field?”
- Consider whether finding a headhunter would be useful for finding the job you want.
Attend a job fair. A job or career fair is a great opportunity to meet new people and learn about potential employers. Both cities and universities have job fairs. Sometimes private organizations will also hold job fairs. 
- Check your city or university website to find information about upcoming job fairs.
- At a job fair, you can gather brochures and other information from companies that are hiring. You might also be able to speak to recruiters.
Stay organized. Having a concrete plan will be one of your best resources. Take some time to create a plan for how you will go about your job search. You should also make to sure to avoid applying for the same position more than once. Make a calendar of weekly or daily activities related to your search. On this calendar you can include tasks like:
- Look at online postings
- Reach out to your network
- Work on resume and cover letter
- Apply for a certain number of jobs each week