Job Hunting Online is No Picnic

As a graduating senior, I can attest that job hunting in a tough economy is not easy. Especially when you’re going up against people with experience and proven track records. So you’ve got to make sure you’re hitting all your bases, finding every nook and corner where a possible opportunity might lie. So when you’re not networking you need to still be on the look out and searching through listings. Most job listings are now placed online (though you might find an old fashioned recruiter placing ads only in print), so knowing how to effectively search online is essential.

1st off, search EVERYWHERE. Online sites like monster.com and careerbuilder.com have thousands upon thousands of job listings. But they’re also flooded with recruiting firms posting that they have jobs that they can put you in. So prepare to wade through endless lists of job descriptions that look promising, but turn out to be some recruitment firm. I’m not saying recruitment firms aren’t a route to take, but if you’re not fond of that method, you’re likely to be annoyed.

So you’ve got to search elsewhere as well. LinkedIn has a fantastic job search function. You can narrow by industry, pay, and even by experience level (which is great for those of us looking for “entry-level”, which most other sites don’t specify). Look for other lesser known job sites that might contain nuggets that most people aren’t seeing.

After that though becomes the time consuming part. It’s not hard, but it takes time and effort. Basically all you do is start thinking of companies you might want to work for, big or small. Can be any company in your field or industry. Go to their website and look for a careers section. A lot of company websites have listings that never make it to monster.com or any of those other job sites but are just what you’re looking for. If you can’t find a careers section, look for a e-mail address for information or to an HR rep or any kind of e-mail that seems appropriate way to contact them asking if they have openings. And of course, you can always pick up the phone and call.

Be prepared to get a lot of “we’re not currently hiring,” or no answer at all. Remember, online means anyone anywhere can apply. These companies can get hundreds of applications a day and there’s someone sifting through them looking for the right candidate.

GET CREATIVE. Think outside the box of ways to find opportunities. If you’re having trouble thinking of companies, just type something into google and your zip code. For example, if you want to work for a bank, just type “Bank, (Insert Zip Code)” and search that. You’ll get tons of results. Go to their websites and look. Don’t be afraid to check the websites of smaller local companies either.

I always remember the story someone told me of a student at the University of Central Florida who looked up the tenants in the tallest office building in Downtown Orlando. He called them one by one asking if they offered internships. By the 3rd call he had an interview, and eventually he got an internships with IBM. This can be done with office buildings, complexes, and even neighborhoods. There’s an area near UCF called “Research Park” and it has a website with a list of about 100 companies in the park that students can literally go through and contact each one.

LinkedIn, Facebook, & Twitter are all becoming fast ways to try and find other opportunities as well. Find out ways to be effective and start trying to use these tools to find a job as well. Go to yellowpages.com and look up local businesses and see if there’s any companies you missed. While driving around town, be on the lookout for office complexes or places that might be interesting to look into and either go in and ask or go home and find them online.

Sometimes people get lucky and find a job right away, but sometimes people have to put in some serious effort. Don’t be afraid or disheartened if it takes a while. Just keep at it, and eventually that opportunity will come.

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About Jason Willis
Jason graduated from the University of Central Florida in the fall of 2011 with a B.S.B.A. in Finance. He currently works at The Newport Group as an Investment Analyst on the Asset & Liability Management Team working with Non Qualified Deferred Compensation Plans. In his spare time he continues to give back to AKPsi by assisting with the CFAC and NX Chapter at UCF. He also currently operates his own blog entitled Professional Hedging, and is also preparing to acquire his Series 7 and 66 Certifications.

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