Job Search Basics Tips

Read these 8 Job Search Basics Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Career tips and hundreds of other topics.

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How can I find government jobs?

Government Employment Opportunities

Search for government jobs at your local Department of Labor office, which will offer various job listings as well as dates and applications for taking the civil service exams.

You can also type the word "government" into online job bank search engines to find a wide variety of jobs available in both the government and the non-profit industry.

   
Where are all these jobs that I hear about?

Finding the Job

Nearly 80% of "open" employment opportunities and jobs are unadvertised. This means that your job search should go beyond want ads and employment listings. Take advantage of the other options available to you.

* Join professional organizations and social clubs.
* Attend job fairs.
* Sit in on lectures and conferences on topics that interest you.
* Search online job banks.

   
How can I expand my network?

Expanding Your Network

Look for opportunities to expand your network at organizational meetings, trade shows, and conventions. Networking is as much a part of the job search process as is checking company employment listings or searching job banks.

To make the best use of your network, try to give as much help as you receive. Those you are able to help will think of your more quickly when they hear of something that will work for you.

   
Where can I find employment listings?

Job Bank and Employment Listing Options

Use as many different job banks as you can to increase your chances of finding a good match for your interests and skills. Locally, you can check the Department of Labor, college career centers or the newspaper.

Also check the Internet job bank sites. A few of the best are:

- abj.org (America's Job Bank)
- Moster.com
- Yahoojobs.com
- Careerbulders.com
- Careers.msn.com

Also look into specialized employment listing sites. Some of these include:

- USAjobs.opm.gov - federal law enforcement job listings
- Rileyguide.com - internships, apprenticeships, volunteer and teen job listings
- Psychwatch.com/jobs - psychiatry, psychology and mental health job listings
- Academploy.com/jobs - links to state pages for educational job listings

   
What do I do if I haven't worked for a while?

Re-entering the Workforce?

If you are re-entering the workforce after a period of unemployment, you may have to make yourself more marketable by gaining new skills and experiences.

In order to fill in your resume, try doing some volunteer work in the field where you will be looking for employment opportunities. Take advantage of networking opportunities while you are volunteering.

   
If I'm not satisfied with my current job, what can I do?

Mid-course Corrections

Changing careers after several years of working is becoming increasingly common. If you are thinking about switching careers, conduct an online job search, review employment listings, or ask around to get ideas about new careers. Talk to people currently in your desired profession to find out what those jobs are like on a day-to-day basis.

Once you've decided on a new career, find out about retraining. With training programs, adult education classes and online and distance learning, it is likely you'll be able to qualify for your new profession without going back to school full time.

   
Who is in my network?

It's Who You Know

Successful networking is a key component of any job search. Many professional organizations host networking events, or you can search the local paper or online news sites or job banks for community networking events.

Don't neglect the people closest to you when considering who is in your network. The following people and organizations may all have valuable job search leads for you:

- Family
- Friends
- Teammates
- Club members
- Church members
- Trade organizations
- Neighborhood groups
- Online communities and forums
- Alumni associations

   
What is job shadowing?

Shadowing

Ask a professional in your desired field if you can shadow them for a few hours or days. By following someone around, you'll get a good idea of the daily duties that you can expect if you pursue that career. If all goes well, you'll also have a contact for your job search later on.

College career guidance centers can often help set up a shadowing opportunity for you. Don't be afraid to ask someone directly if you can shadow them. Many people are willing to help those just starting out.

   
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