Having a list of job titles that you’ve designed around your own career interests and skills is an excellent beginning. It means you’ve really thought about who you are and what you are presenting to the employment market. It has caused you to think seriously about the most appealing environments to work in, and you have identified some employer types that represent these environments.
The research and the thinking that you’ve done thus far will be used again and again. They will be helpful in writing your résumé and cover letters, in talking about yourself on the telephone to prospective employers, and in answering interview questions.
Now is a good time to begin to narrow the field of job titles and employment sites down to some specific employers to initiate the employment contact.
Find Out Which Employers Hire People Like You
This section will provide tips, techniques, and specific resources for developing an actual list of specific employers that can be used to make contacts. It is only an outline that you must be prepared to tailor to your own particular needs and according to what you bring to the job search. Once again, it is important to communicate with others along the way exactly what you’re looking for and what your goals are for the research you’re doing. Librarians, employers, career counselors, friends, friends of friends, business contacts, and bookstore staff will all have helpful information on geographically specific and new resources to aid you in locating employers who’ll hire you.
Identify Information Resources
Your interview wardrobe and your new résumé might have put a dent in your wallet, but the resources you’ll need to pursue your job search are available for free. The categories of information detailed here are not hard to find and are yours for the browsing.
Numerous resources described in this section will help you identify actual employers. Use all of them or any others that you identify as available in your geographic area. As you become experienced in this process, you’ll quickly
figure out which information sources are helpful and which are not. If you live in a rural area, a well-planned day trip to a major city that includes a college career office, a large college or city library, state and federal employment centers, a chamber of commerce office, and a well-stocked bookstore can produce valuable results.
There are many excellent resources available to help you identify actual job sites. They are categorized into employer directories (usually indexed by product lines and geographic location), geographically based directories (designed to highlight particular cities, regions, or states), career-specific directories (e.g., Sports MarketPlace, which lists tens of thousands of firms involved with sports), periodicals and newspapers, targeted job posting publications, and videos. This is by no means meant to be a complete treatment of resources but rather a starting point for identifying useful resources.
Working from the more general references to highly specific resources, we provide a basic list to help you begin your search. Many of these you’ll find easily available. In some cases reference librarians and others will suggest even better materials for your particular situation. Start to create your own customized bibliography of job search references.
Geographically Based Directories. The Job Bank series published by Bob Adams, Inc. (aip.com) contains detailed entries on each area’s major employers, including business activity, address, phone number, and hiring contact name. Many listings specify educational backgrounds being sought in potential employees. Each volume contains a solid discussion of each city’s or state’s major employment sectors. Organizations are also indexed by industry. Job
Bank volumes are available for the following places: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas–Ft. Worth, Denver, Detroit, Florida, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Ohio, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, Washington, D.C., and other cities throughout the Northwest.
National Job Bank (careercity.com) lists employers in every state, along with contact names and commonly hired job categories. Included are many small companies often overlooked by other directories. Companies are also indexed by industry. This publication provides information on educational backgrounds sought and lists company benefits.
Periodicals and Newspapers. Several sources are available to help you locate which journals or magazines carry job advertisements in your field. Other resources help you identify opportunities in other parts of the country.
- Where the Jobs Are: A Comprehensive Directory of 1200 Journals Listing Career Opportunities
- Corptech Fast 5000 Company Locator
- National Ad Search (nationaladsearch.com)
- The Federal Jobs Digest (jobsfed.com) and Federal Career Opportunities
- World Chamber of Commerce Directory (chamberofcommerce.org)
This list is certainly not exhaustive; use it to begin your job search work.
Targeted Job Posting Publications. Although the resources that follow are national in scope, they are either targeted to one medium of contact (telephone), focused on specific types of jobs, or less comprehensive than the sources previously listed.
- Careers.org (careers.org/index.html)
- The Job Hunter (jobhunter.com)
- Current Jobs for Graduates (graduatejobs.com)
- Environmental Opportunities (ecojobs.com)
- Y National Vacancy List (ymca.net/employment/ymca_recruiting/jobright.htm)
- Community Jobs
- National Association of Colleges and Employers: Job Choices series
- National Association of Colleges and Employers (jobweb.com)
Videos. You may be one of the many job seekers who likes to get information via a medium other than paper. Many career libraries, public libraries, and career centers in libraries carry an assortment of videos that will help you learn new techniques and get information helpful in the job search.
Locate Information Resources
Throughout these introductory chapters, we have continually referred you to various websites for information on everything from job listings to career information. Using the Web gives you a mobility at your computer that you don’t enjoy if you rely solely on books or newspapers or printed journals.
Moreover, material on the Web, if the site is maintained, can be the most up-to-date information available.
You’ll eventually identify the information resources that work best for you, but make certain you’ve covered the full range of resources before you begin to rely on a smaller list. Here’s a short list of informational sites that many job seekers find helpful:
- Public and college libraries
- College career centers
- The Internet
- Local and state government personnel offices
- Career/job fairs
Each one of these sites offers a collection of resources that will help you get the information you need.
As you meet and talk with service professionals at all these sites, be sure to let them know what you’re doing. Inform them of your job search, what you’ve already accomplished, and what you’re looking for. The more people who know you’re job seeking, the greater the possibility that someone will have information or know someone who can help you along your way.