Search for a New Job
As mentioned in my overview article, How to Find a New Job, I have twice found myself suddenly needing to find new employment. In that article, I summarize the various phases of my landing a new job. One of those steps involved finding prospective employers by performing some research. This article expands on how I proceeded in this step.
1. Reach out to Friends and Family
The first step, which is good to start almost as soon as possible after leaving your prior job for the last time, iss to start calling those family and friends closest to you. This has a dual purpose: A) Emotional support, and B) To begin using their network of contacts. You may be surprised at the contacts of those closest to you. Also, since these are people who presumably know you best, they are also more likely to match you with some position or contact person where you would be a good fit.
2. Register with Recruiters and Temp Agencies
Next, reach out to those whose profession it is to match qualified people with new jobs. These guys are paid to evaluate you and your skills and find an employment opportunity that complements you. Typically, recruiters are only paid if they place you in a job. Also, various professions may have their own targeted recruiters, so reach out to them. When signing up with a recruiter, note any part of the registration or agreement that states you will work with a specific recruiter exclusively. These stipulations are rare, but they do exist with some recruiting firms. As a bonus, some recruiters even offer free or highly discounted continuing professional education.
In addition to recruiters, it is good to contact agencies that offer temporary job placement. One example would be Manpower. Like recruiters, these guys evaluate your skills and try to candidates in jobs. However these positions typically have a temporary window which could be for a week to several months, or longer. After which, you would either move on to a new temporary position, wait until they find a new position, or the best case scenario, move into the position you just completed but as a full-time hire.
Making the contacts above are good to make in the first few days of unemployment. They definitely help you get a jump start on your career search. But you are essentially using them for their network of business contacts, and you are likely not the only candidate they are evaluating. The recruiter is potentially representing for many candidates at any particular time, and you may or may not be at the top of their list when a prime opening arises. So now it is time to roll up your sleeves, boot up the computer, and dig in to some business research.
3. Internet research
Your first stop might be job listings boards like Monster.com. There are websites that target openings in specific companies or industries, so search for those as well. Websites like these list potentially thousands of open employment positions that companies are looking to fill. Sometimes the companies are looking to hire immediately, but most of the time the hire date will be a few weeks to a few months away from the time of their posting. You can search through and narrow down these listings by searching by location, specific job titles, or even general responsibilities. There should be descriptions of what the potential position will require, such as minimum education, physical capabilities, etc.... Read through a few of these listings everyday and submit your resume and contact information according to the directions on each site. One daunting caveat to sites like these is that an applicant can be perfect for a particular opening, but their application might be lost in someone's inbox due to a possible large number of applicants. Therefore, if there is a contact name associated with a listing, I recommend researching about the company and reaching out to the hiring manager prior to submitting your application. You should have some good questions about the position ready to ask him or her. In doing this, your name will be somewhat familiar. If there is no direct contact on the listing, submit your information anyway as it cannot hurt your chances.
You should not limit your search only to advertised job postings as a large number of open positions are never posted on any website. Therefore, you should research into individual companies and locate companies that might appeal to you. Beginning this step starts with a simple search of businesses in your community in your favorite search engine. My preferred search engine is Google, so my advice stems from the results I received through them. I searched for phrases similar to "(auto mechanics) near (100 Main St, Yourtown, TX)" in Google Maps, which resulted in a list of companies by proximity to my home. Most of these companies have websites, so I began pouring through them, learning all about these individual companies. Items to learn for each business include the targeted industry/customer they serve, services they provide or products they offer, description of company culture, along with a lot of other subjective factors. Use this information to first determine if the expertise of the company you are learning about has similar or complimentary expertise as you. Then, make an initial judgment as to whether you would fit in with the culture. If yes on both of these, look for a manager or owner's name and address and send your cover letter and resume to this person's attention. Always send your information to a specific person, never send your information without addressing someone specifically. Sending your information to a specific person decreases your chances of your information getting lost in the office and it gives you a possible contact person for a warm call (as opposed to a cold call) sometime in the near future.
In conclusion, I will admit that this way is not easy at all. However, it has proved effective for me twice now. Unfortunately, I have been laid off twice, and subsequently found new and better positions quickly. I sincerely hope this will benefit you in your search for a new job.