Financial Answer Center
Your Job Search: It's a Process

Job Search Resources

Information to assist you in your job search is as close as your local library. In addition to local, regional, and national publications containing classified ads, many libraries house publications in their reference and career sections that help you gather more information about different careers and employers. Many libraries offer workshops that can help you improve your job-seeking skills. Also, many libraries offer access to the Internet, where there is a vast sea of career information.

When searching for information in your library, remember to use key phrases such as careers, vocational guidance, professions, career changes, career development, resumes, interviews, etc. And ask your librarian for help if you need it. That's what he or she is there for.

  • The Department of Labor—This particular branch of the government was established primarily to serve individuals like you who are pursuing employment opportunities. They offer a wide range of services that can be helpful in all aspects of your search, including workshops and job listings. They are often located near the unemployment office, so plan to visit both places on the same day and save time and money.
  • Employment agencies—An employment agency's business is finding the right people for jobs.

IMPORTANT NOTE: While many employment agencies collect their fees from the businesses that hire you, others charge the applicant (that's you). Whenever possible, avoid employment agencies that charge you a fee. If you should consider paying a fee, make sure the agency provides you with a written contract and that the fee is refundable or contingent upon placement. Make sure you do your homework: Check out the agency with your local Better Business Bureau.

  • Internet—Thousands of job opportunities listed on the Internet have eliminated the need for many volumes of job listings and books. Consider using search engines to find sites using the words specific to your career, or general keywords such as jobs, careers, vocations, etc.
  • Networking—What if you're looking for a position in the same or a related field? Make a list of individuals with whom you have had contact over the last year or so for personal and professional purposes. The list should include coworkers, professional organization members, prior employers, former employees, and—don't forget—relatives. Job interviews are often granted to people who have an inside connection or to those who are recommended by someone in the field. Although this doesn't guarantee you the job, it is a step in the right direction and opens doors you might not otherwise have access to.
  • Consider Relocating—Your job search may lead you to another geographic location that offers greater opportunity. Make sure you do your homework before you pack up and leave. If you are going to explore job opportunities in another city or state, try to make your visits as economical as possible. This usually requires doing much work in advance, including writing to or researching the Web sites of the Chamber of Commerce or Department of Labor in the city or state of your choice. Also, if you plan to visit, attempt to schedule as many interviews as possible in a single visit to minimize traveling expenses. If you are unsure as to whether a move is the right decision, you might consider temporarily relocating and renting. Consider subletting your existing home or apartment.
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