November 19, 2012 at 2:50 PM
"You need to know what kind of jobs you’re looking for, what skills you have to offer and how to effectively market yourself to compete"
Where’s My Great Career?
Patty Armstrong is a career counselor and educator on a mission to help people of all ages find careers they enjoy.
I’ve been telling people for years that just 3-5% of employment ads can be found in the newspaper and they must broaden their search. Over the past month, I’ve been bringing the job ads from my Sunday paper to a client on unemployment who was trying to save money by not buying the paper. I was shocked to see that the Sunday ads are down to two three three pages! So that’s even less than 3%. Many folks now rely on Craig’s list the way they relied on newspaper classified ads. But that’s still no more than 5% of all job postings. I’m not saying don’t look in the paper or on Craig’s list. But, you have to know where else to look to find the other 92% of available jobs.
First of all, if you’re one of those people saying “I just need a job, any job”, you’re in trouble. You need to know what kind of jobs you’re looking for, what skills you have to offer and how to effectively market yourself to compete. If you’re a career professional saying “I’ll just take janitor or data entry jobs. I need something!” you’re not likely to be offered the position because employers assume you don’t really want the job.
Work with a career counselor or career development facilitator to discover what kind of work you want to do, assess the skills you already have and figure out how to get the skills and/or credentials you’re lacking. Your strategy may be first seeking whatever job you can get, sometimes going back to a field you’re ready to leave, with a long term plan to build a new career and ultimately get that dream job.
Once you’ve identified the career area or areas in which you want to work, start coming up with a list of possible job titles to enter into databases as you search. The U.S. Department of Labor’s O*NET database has a list of possible job titles for each occupation. The best way to access O*NET is through a link at Santa Fe Community College’s Career Services Resume Rescue page (www.sfcc.edu/career_services/resume_rescue). Instructions on how to find not only job titles, but great skills statements for your resume on O*NET are on the web page, just before the link.
SFCC Career Services also has a great list of job websites to expand your search on their Job Postings page (www.sfcc.edu/career_services/job_postings). You can access SFCC’s off-campus jobs data base without needing a student login (the first link on the page), many multiple job posting sites where you can use your list of possible job titles to search, and find direct links to local employer career pages – all for free, with no registration required.
One of my favorite sites on the page is Indeed.com, where you are taken right to the posting and don’t have to register with them before you access and apply for a job. It is always better to find an employer’s site and apply there directly, instead of through a multiple employer posting site – even Monster.com, because 1) you can’t be sure that the application actually gets to the employer and 2) you can learn a lot more about the job and the employer in order to make a better presentation when you’ve had a chance to peruse an employer’s site.
Remember, it’s not just about finding the job you want. It’s also about knowing how to successfully market yourself to beat out your competition and get that job. The Albuquerque Journal has a Sunday Careers page with local and national articles about modern job and career search skills, with which I rarely disagree. You may also wish to peruse SFCC’s Career Services other web pages, which have other resource referrals and great career advice.