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U.S. Department of Labor Provides Tips for Successful Job Hunting

by Robert Black

Finding and obtaining a job can be grueling. However, if you take the right steps throughout the process much of your struggle may be subdued. In their 2008-2009 Outlook Handbook, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics offers trusted tips for locating and pursuing jobs.  By learning and knowing more about the techniques used in job hunting your success rate will rise. Some of these techniques include: where to look for job openings, search methods, what to do when applying for a job, interviewing tips, and evaluating a job offer.

 
Beginning Your Search

 
Effective ways of locating a job including using personal contacts, Internet resources, career fairs, classified ads, employers, and private employment agencies. Each one of these ways has strengths and weaknesses, but if you combine the different search processes it has proven to be profitable for the job seeker. Knowing where to look for a job is exceptionally important because it’s the start of the entire “job hunting” process.

 

Finding a job can take much longer than expected when your looking to further your career. Yet, using your job search methods effectively can make the search swifter and more successful. For example, many jobs that become available are filled even before they become publically listed. This is why it is important to use personal contacts as much as possible. Talk with family members, neighbors, friends, coworkers, associates, and even former employers because networking is the single best way to stay on top of the job market. By just keeping in touch with people and letting them know that you are looking for a new job will help you significantly in starting that new career.

 

Some other fruitful tactics used in searching for jobs are internet resources, classified ads, and career fairs. Job hunting on the web is great because you can do it anywhere. Another benefit is that you can narrow your searches to specific industries, cities, or companies. Searching on the internet also allows you to read message boards and get a better feel for the position through other people’s comments. Next, reading the classified ads is the classic way to job search. The classifieds are a great way to quickly scan for “help wanted” ads which can lead to a job. Its important reply, quickly, to these postings because they are viewed by many people everyday and the jobs are generally filled rapidly. Lastly, taking the time to go to career fairs will pay off in more ways then just finding a job. By attending career fairs you will meet many different employers, extend your network, and learn about new companies that could be future employers. Also, you will be passing out your resume to various different companies so bring at least thirty copies.   

 
Applying for a Job                         

 
Applying for a job is trickier than just contact the employer and submitting your resume. It is of the utmost importance that you keep your resume up to par because employers view your resume as on paper evidence of your skills and qualifications. The point of your resume is to show the employer that you are the best qualified candidate for the position. Building and maintaining your resume is a major key to securing a job through the application process.

 

Another process that you almost always have to complete when applying for a job is the interview. In an interview you have the opportunity to show the company who you are and to show your personality to the employer. In this live evaluation you are again illustrating why you are qualified for the job and demonstrating that you can effectively do what the job demands. You should be well groomed for the interview and dress to the occasion. Some other tips for interviewing according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook are “be early, learn the name of your interviewer and greet him or her with a firm handshake. Use good manners with everyone you meet. Relax and answer each question concisely. Use proper English—avoid slang. Be cooperative and enthusiastic. Use body language to show interest—use eye contact and don’t slouch. Ask questions about the position and the organization, but avoid questions whose answers can easily be found on the company Web site. Also avoid asking questions about salary and benefits unless a job offer is made. Thank the interviewer when you leave and shake hands. Send a short thank you note (Finding, 1).”

 
Evaluating a Job Offer

 
After the processes of searching for a job and applying for one, hopefully you will receive a job offer. However, before you accept the job offer you must evaluate it to make sure it’s the right choice. First, do some more background research on the organization to find out some of the things that can’t be answered by the basic questions. You might even want to go to a library and use a background program database. Some of these include:

  • Dun & Bradstreet’s Million Dollar Directory
  • Standard and Poor’s Register of Corporations
  • Mergent’s Industrial Review (formerly Moody’s Industrial Manual)
  • Thomas Register of American Manufacturers
  • Ward’s Business Directory

Another place you can scan while applying for the job and after you have received an offer from the company, is the news and newspaper. Look in publications for the company’s successes and failures which will give you strong insight on the company. In addition, try to find out what the organizations plan for the future are, figure out if their plan coincides with what you want out of your job. Furthermore, ask the employer about the salary and benefits of the position. It is ok to ask these questions directly 5to the employer once you’ve been offered the job. These two things can make or break whether or not you accept the offer. It is of the utmost importance that you evaluate the job offer that you have been presented with, before you accept the job (Finding, 1).

  

"Finding and Applying for Jobs and Evaluating Offers." Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational 
     Outlook Handbook, 2008-09 Edition . 18 Dec. 2007. US Department of Labor. 30 July 2008 
     <http://www.bls.gov/oco/oco2004.htm>. 


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