Where to Look for Your
Assessing & Planning
WHERE TO LOOK FOR YOUR NEXT
Ever since the digital revolution took root in the
1990s, job-hunters have been speeding down the information superhighway
in search of the perfect position. Virtually every major company has a
“careers” section on their site, and there are several job boards where
you will find announcements from a large number of employers.
Pro: Volume, volume, volume. You’ll have
access to more postings than you can fathom. Plus, you can hunt in
Con: When looking online, you may find
something fantastic, only to scroll down and find out it’s a
three-year contract in Antarctica. Also, on certain sites, the
anonymity of the ’Net can attract some shady employers.
The bottom line: As long as you proceed
with caution and stick with reputable sources, the Internet could be
your best friend as you aim toward employment.
This one’s been around for generations of career
crusaders. Turn toward the back of your newspaper and you’ll find an
assortment of neatly-indexed, condensed postings of openings in your
Pro: You won’t find many postings for
Antarctica here, especially if it’s a community-based publication.
Con: It’s usually slim pickings if you’re
looking for anything outside your hometown.
The bottom line: With such a brief format,
the classifieds are still a great resource, particularly if you’re
pressed for time or hunting casually.
The career fair presents a familiar sight for many
veteran job seekers – vast convention centers packed to the gills with
perky, smiling ambassadors for dozens of different companies. Loud,
bustling, and often chaotic, career fairs are there explicitly for
hunters like you.
Pro: With so many options available, you
may find yourself drawn to an industry you may have never considered
before. Many accessible and diverse employers choose to seek workers
in this forum, since fairs tend to attract a broad range of
applicants. Also, some companies accept resumes and interview
Con: In some cases, much of what you
encounter will not be actual employers, but rather temp agencies or
training organizations after your wallet, not your services.
The bottom line: Career fairs are never a
bad idea to check out, but they’re best used to complement, rather
than replace, a more specific search.
This is a great option for individuals currently
upgrading their education. As the school year progresses, many companies
hold recruitment sessions for potential future employees at campuses
across the country. These sessions will often be smaller, more informal
affairs, with presentations, plenty of glad-handing, and, quite often,
Pro: Hey, the employer is coming to YOU!
How much easier could it get?
Con: Companies are often looking for highly
specific candidates, usually in professional or skilled trade areas.
General arts and science students are usually out of luck.
The bottom line: On-campus recruiting makes
a difficult process a breeze, provided you’ve got the specific
skills they’re looking for.
For the truly brave, there is always the dark horse of
the job hunt – the cold call. Rather than wait for a position to come
up, cold callers use phone, email or snail mail to put their name in at
their companies of choice.
Pro: Unsolicited resumes tend to stand out,
causing employers to remember you as a genuinely interested
candidate when a position opens up. Occasionally, if they’re really
impressed, they’ll create a new position, just for you.
Con: You’re likely going to get a lot of
polite statements like, “We’re not accepting resumes at this time,”
and the occasional ego-crushing hang-up. At times frustrating and
downright demoralizing, this one ain’t for the faint of heart.
The bottom line: If you’re really
determined to work at ABC Corp, cold calls can be a great way to
show your enthusiasm – who knows what may happen.
This is an excellent and effective method to get your
name out there. Tell everyone from your hairdresser to your new
neighbour to the kid selling lemonade on the corner that you’re looking
for work, and ask if they might have any idea about potential leads.
Connections are invaluable in this day and age – actually they’ve always
been – and you never know who the person you’re speaking with knows.
Pro: Your doctor’s brother’s wife could be
a partner in that law firm you’ve been checking out. With a few
strategically placed phone calls, you may be able to net a lunch
meeting. Plus, you’ll build a solid roster of industry contacts that
you’ll likely be able to use throughout your career.
Con: “Selling” yourself at all times can be
exhausting. After awhile, you may just want to make small talk about
the latest Oilers game instead.
The bottom line: Networking is a wise idea
in any job search. It shows you are keen, committed, resourceful and
confident in your own abilities – attributes most employers are
Employers Want YOU