Finding Out About Job Openings
by Ron Kurtus (7 June 2004)
It is tougher to get a job than to do the job. One of the biggest difficulties is finding out what companies are looking for assistance.
A common method of finding jobs is by looking in the want ads in the newspaper and online job listings. But many companies do not list openings in the want ads unless absolutely necessary.
Typically, they first search within, then they post the job on their Website, and finally submit want ads. You can often find information on openings through word-of-mouth or networking.
Questions you may have include:
- How good are want ads?
- What about checking with the company directly?
- How does word-of-mouth work?
This lesson will answer those questions.
The most common method to search for a job is by looking at the want ads in the newspaper and by searching for jobs in online job sites like Monster.com. When a company submits a want ad for an open position, they are opening the floodgates for a large number of resumes of varying qualifications.
Typically, the company will use a person in Human Resources to read and filter the various letters and resumes sent in. They are acting as a "gatekeeper" and immediately reject anything that does not fit the requirements. Unfortunately, often the person is not that familiar with the true job requirements or is too busy to use care in selection, so she rejects many valid resumes.
Although, it is still worthwhile to submit resumes from ads, do not depend on it as the best way to get a job.
(See Finding a Job Online for a listing of online job sites.)
Many companies list their openings on their Websites before they take out want ads. If you know of companies in your locale or in a place where you want to live that use people in your profession, trade or skill, you can periodically check their Website for career openings.
For some jobs, you can also check the Personnel or Human Resource department personally. For example, a person I know had never graduated from high school, and he wanted a job driving a truck for a local brewery. Just about every week he visited Personnel to see if there were any openings. The story was always the same, but he got to know the personnel receptionist. One day she said they would be having an opening in a few days and she would take his application right then. He got the job, which was a well-paying position, and kept it until he retired.
Although visiting companies or their Websites works fine for known businesses in your area, there are many small companies that are completely unknown that may need your services.
The method of finding job openings that works the best is through word-of-mouth. It is also called networking. The way this works is that you mention to people you know or meet that you are looking for work in your area of skill. Often people are willing to help and will make a suggestion of a place they think is hiring. Sometimes their own company is looking for someone with your skills.
Note that if you know that they person works for a company where you would like to work, you should use caution in what you say. You should never ask the person directly if he can get you hired with the company or can introduce you to someone who might hire you. Let the other person suggest or offer to help.
In this light, the more people you meet and tell that you are looking, the greater the chances you will have of finding a position. But people do not want to be used, so it must be done casually, and you should have something of value or interest to the offer the person in your conversation.
It is difficult to find companies looking for assistance. A common—but not effective—method of finding jobs is by looking in the want ads. Checking company Websites is a better method. The best method of finding job openings is through word-of-mouth or networking.
Seek and you shall find
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