How to Find Jobs Not Advertised on the Top Job Boards, Part 1

Dear, Anita,

I have resumes on different job boards on the Internet. I apply to positions I find posted and get back that my resume has been submitted. I don’t get a job offer from it. I have been looking for a job for 1-1/2 years. What am I doing wrong?

Dear, Bored with Boards,

Frustrated Woman at Computer With Stack of PaperWhile job seekers must steadfastly apply to positions posted on the top online job boards – Monster.com, CareerBuilder, Indeed, and the like – this should not be the only tactic in an all-out job search.  I have seen statistics that claim 40% to 80% of jobs are unadvertised (depending on if the stats are based on “paid” advertising in newspapers and on online job boards, versus publicized with no additional cost outlay.) Here are other places to find job opportunities:

LinkedIn. While you’re updating your profile, don’t forget to check the Jobs tab on LinkedIn, which hosts paid advertisements for open positions. You can set up an e-mail job alert for the industry and geographic area of interest. (For those of you currently employed, not to worry – your job search activity is private so your boss won’t see it.)

Craigslist. In some areas of the country, the free job listings on Craigslist are quite effective for businesses and job seekers. Just don’t be tempted to go down the rabbit hole by perusing the personals or “for sale” ads.

Company Website Careers Page.  Make a list of companies in your area that you would like to work for and check out their websites. Many companies have pages on their websites devoted to career opportunities, which you’ll want to bookmark and check often. For a life hack on how to search multiple companies’ career pages using a Google trick, check out Option Three in the How to Find Unadvertised Jobs blog from Glassdoor.com.

Social Media. Savvy businesses maximize their Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn status updates, and other social media accounts to publicize for free their current job openings. Some mid-size and larger companies even have unique social media accounts devoted to careers and recruiting, separate from their customer or end-user accounts.

College Career Centers. While you are still a student, be sure to take full advantage of your college’s career center. In addition to maintaining lists of job openings and internships from local employers that may not be posted elsewhere, the staff at these university job offices can help you with your résumé, coach you for your interviews, or even cultivate letters of recommendation for you.

Government Job Resource Center.  To find local resources, you may have to think like a thesaurus when you do your online search. Government resources can go by many names, from workforce resource center, career services, employment center, job network… the list goes on. Services can be provided under the auspices of local governments to state economic development departments.  If you’re not a master-Googler, start at the national American Job Center for links to some resources.

Check out Part 2 of this article next week, for five more alternatives to job boards.

Readers: What sources, besides the online job boards, have proved most fruitful in your job search?

Do you have a question for Anita Clew? Visit http://anitaclew.com/ask-anita/.

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Job Seeking Spare Time

A reader writes:

Hi Anita,

I have been unemployed for 2 months and try as I may, I still am having trouble finding employment. I am starting to get extremely bored and the excess hours of the day are beginning to get to me. With the large amount of free time on my hands, what can I do to during the day that will have a positive impact on my job search and my day-to-day life?

Dear, Stuck With Too Much Spare Time,

Job HuntingBeing unemployed and having nothing to do are not as much fun as many people make it out to be. I bet for the first week or two, it feels like a nice vacation full of sleeping in, leisurely breakfasts, watching television all day, and kicking up your feet. But after a short while, those things you wished you could do while you were working are becoming unbearable and boring. If you are starting to feel down about yourself or feeling like there is no light at the end of the tunnel, I ask you to turn that frown upside down. It is time to start being proactive and getting your life back on track.

The first thing you need to do is set a schedule out for yourself. No more sleeping in until noon and watching television until the wee hours of the morning. Most people who are employed are up and out the door in time to be at work by 8 a.m. Now that you do not have a job, what do you think your full-time position is? You guessed it, JOB HUNTING! Immediately, go see my friends at Select Staffing and fill out an application. Chances are they will be able to enter you in their database and offer you advice on how to proceed with your search. You must dedicate at least 6 hours a day to searching for a job. That doesn’t mean just scouring the Internet; get out there and sell yourself. For tips and tricks on becoming a very successful networker, check out my post Networking Know-How.

Try to find a class in your area that will build your résumé and your skills. If you work in a warehouse, look into getting your certification in forklift driving. If you are in administrative or executive support, brush up your grammar and proofreading skills. Do something that will benefit you in the long run and help keep your brain from turning to mush.

Build your résumé while doing something good for others. Locate a charity whose cause is near and dear to your heart and start volunteering. This will give you satisfaction and look great to potential employers. Here you can gain Community Serviceprofessional and life skills, meet people that could help introduce you to new job openings, and also earn a great recommendation from your supervisor that can only shed a better light on your unemployment. I once volunteered at a local charity and after a few months of dedicated service, I was offered a paid position in their Career Center.

Surround yourself with positive EMPLOYED people. This is a very important piece of advice to follow. Typically, people who are unemployed will not be happy with their situations and will inevitably bring you down. They will be more likely to engage you in activities that do not mesh well with job hunting activities. People with jobs will be able to share advice and connect with other professionals, possibly resulting in your next job lead.

Cut out the junk food and take some time to get your body moving. Exercise is a great way to spend an hour of your day. Getting your blood pumping will increase your energy level and spread those happy endorphins through your body. It is proven to relieve stress and ward off depression. Healthy foods will give you more energy and make you feel much better, both physically and mentally. Remember if you put good in, you will get good out.

As tempting as it maybe, try to avoid reading the bad news about the job market and the economy; it will only bring you down. Switch over to reading uplifting books and inspiring stories to keep you in a chipper mood. Go by yourself to see movies that bring a smile to your face. It actually gives you a greater sense of independence. I definitely suggest you give it a try.

Set GoalsSet daily and weekly goals for yourself. These do not need to be huge or intricate. Day one can be as simple as waking up at 8 a.m. and apply to 3 viable jobs. If you do that every day for a week, you have 15 job applications and résumés out in the world. Now that is an accomplishment! As you achieve more, you will begin to feel better and more confident in your abilities. Just remember you won’t get anywhere without putting one foot in front of the other.

Now that I have given a few tips, I want to hear from my readers what they find to be the most important advice for keeping your sanity while seeking employment. What things did you do while you were searching for a job?

Take care until next time,

Anita

Disclaimer

Anita Clew's blog posts are intended for general guidance and should never be taken as legal advice. In all instances where harassment, inequity, or unfair treatment is believed to be present, please consult your HR Department or legal representation.
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