Job Hunting Advice


Knocking on Doors

This method means literally what is says- talking to local employers who may have a use for your skills and seeing if they have open positions, preferably in-person. It is fairly effective but can be discouraging because most will not have any opportunities. Logically, however, you only need one good lead to find a job. This approach has the side benefit of opening your search up to smaller local employers who could use your skills, but do not have the resources to conduct a national search- many of them don't even have HR departments, and that's the best news you can hear if you're looking for a job (unless you're looking for an HR job, of course). Even if you had to take a small pay cut, smaller companies can have a slower pace and more rewarding work environment compared to the stifling bureaucracy of large corporations.


Friends, family, and professional colleagues refer you for open positions or likely prospects that may be able to hire you. Though not the most effective method, it is one of our favored approaches because it works very quickly and allows the job hunter to circumvent many of the time-wasters on the road to a job.

Government Employment

Just what is says- you apply for a government job, take a test, interview, and get hired. Very straightforward, and opportunities abound for teaching positions under alternative certification and security positions after 9/11/2001. However, these positions may be incompatible with your professional goals and salary requirements. Note, however, that the government hires in many professional categories, with competitive salaries if you consider the monetary value of low stress and job security- many people do not know that the federal, local and state governments need programmers, engineers, accountants, and managers just like private companies.

Employment Agency

We're not speaking of temporary agencies here. These types of agencies are usually professional recruiters who take your resume and match it up against their database of jobs (they usually have many more resumes than jobs, and they prefer to recruit the already-employed).

Trade Journal Ads

Answering ads posted in trade journals applicable to your industry. If you have the qualifications, you might land an interview.

Mass-Mailing Resumes

This technique is of low effectiveness, but also low effort. The expense of mailing many resumes may add up quickly for some in tight financial situations. Faxing may offer a lower cost alternative to mailing.

Newspaper Ads

Answering ads for positions advertised in your local newspaper.


This is easily the most hyped method relative to its effectiveness. Any serious employment opening will be posted in local newspapers first, and only then to a national audience through the credibility-dependent filter of a professional recruiter (i.e. headhunter), who will usually seek those already employed in order to minimize the chance of recruiting a deadbeat. Most jobs posted on the Internet are posted by professional recruiters looking to snag resumes for their database of currently employed people to match against any open jobs that they are hoping to fill for a client. A lot of the time, no job will actually exist behind the ad, just a recruiter building their database, and even real jobs will be left posted long after they are filled to encourage curious job-seekers to send in their resumes.

Last Updated: 05/23/2014

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