Before the internet streamlined the process, locating a job usually included finding “Help Wanted” signs in windows, searching through the classifieds section of newspapers, or hearing about openings through word of mouth. It was a long and drawn out process. Now, computers and the web have completely changed the system for discovering vacant positions, so much it is easier now to target job market opportunities.
There are many different platforms that organize job postings from all over the world and have advanced search engines that make them easier to weed through. A quick search for “jobs near me” can narrow down the results to find a position that doesn’t require a lengthy commute. Websites such as Indeed, Career Builder, Linkedin Jobs, Monster Jobs, USA Jobs, and ZipRecruiter connect prospective employees to open positions that match exactly what they are looking for, including full-time work, part-time work, temporary gigs, or even online jobs or work from home jobs for working remotely. There are also industry-specific websites, such as Higher Ed Jobs for finding a position in education, or USPS, UPS or FedEx Jobs for work in the freight and packing industry. These websites immediately give job hunters all the information they need to apply, including job details and duties.
Aside from the internet, some other avenues for job hunting are going through a recruiting or employment agency, attending a job fair at a college campus, or cold emailing and visiting businesses in person to inquire about any new openings.
When searching for a new opportunity, often times job hunters will first engage with their network to find out about open positions from their own, personal connections. This network can include anyone from family and friends to former classmates, teachers, colleagues, and employers. It can even include meeting new people or networking events. These first-hand job referrals from employees who are actively working at a company can be a valuable resource, especially when an applicant is up against a considerable amount of competition.
These days, social media can be a useful tool for networking and getting connected to jobs. Linkedin is a great example of how a social network can help match job hunters with employee seekers, and it shows that putting together an impressive and captivating professional profile can make you stand out to hiring managers or recruiters. However, these social networks can be a double-edged sword. With the ability to search for a wealth of information on the web, including all personal and business-related social media pages, one’s online reputation can have a huge impact on their chances of being hired.
Research is always a good idea when it comes to applying to jobs. It not only allows the applicant to show potential employers a great level of commitment to and enthusiasm about their company, especially when it comes to tailoring a cover letter or nailing an interview, but it also gives job seekers the chance to find out if the particular business is right for them.
The internet, again, is a tremendous help when it comes to finding resources about a particular company. Good information to look for would be everything from the business description and mission to their history and even their company reviews and stock market value. Many companies, such as Amazon, Starbucks, Costco, Apple, and many more have their own specific career websites so that applicants can learn more about what it is like to work at each place.
Upon finding an open position that seems like a good fit for the applicant’s abilities and needs, the next job search step is submitting a job application. This usually involves submitting materials either online or in person, including a resume or Curricula Vitae and, often times, a cover letter or letter of introduction. All application materials are intended to highlight the applicant’s skills, education and experience that are specifically related to the job opening.
Occasionally, other materials aside from a resume/CV or cover letter will be required for the application. Often times the application may include extra questions to get to know the applicant more personally, or may also require a list of reference contacts. When applying certain jobs that require more experience, such as higher up federal, government or FBI jobs, a letter of recommendation might be needed. Also, those seeking employment in creative fields often need to show some sort of portfolio or examples of their work.
After submitting the application, the last phase in the job search process is the interview, where the employer and the prospective employee finally meet in person to ask each other questions. The interview itself can take place in person, either one-on-one or in a group or panel setting. If the applicant is located far away from the employer’s place of business, an online video chat interview may be necessary in order for the applicant and the hiring manager to properly meet and get to know each other face-to-face. Sometimes multiple rounds of interviews are needed in order to narrow down the pool of talent and come to a final hiring decision.