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Transitioning to Work:
mployment ads in your local newspaper are not the only place to find good jobs; as a matter of fact, they are not necessarily even the best place to find jobs. Some of the best jobs are never advertised. Here's a list of resources you can use to find your "ideal" job:
Your family, friends, and acquaintances may offer one of the most effective ways to find a job. They may help you directly or put you in touch with someone else who can. Such networking can lead to information about specific job openings.
College Placement Offices
College placement offices help their students and alumni find jobs. They set up appointments and allow recruiters to use their facilities for interviews. Placement offices usually have a list of part-time, temporary, and summer jobs offered on campus. They may also have lists of jobs for regional, nonprofit, and government organizations. Students can receive career counseling and testing and job search advice. At career resource libraries they may attend workshops on such topics as job search strategy, resume writing, letter writing, and effective interviewing; critique drafts of resumes and watch videotapes of mock interviews; explore files of resumes and references; and attend job fairs conducted by the placement office.
The "Help Wanted" ads in newspapers list numerous jobs. You should realize, however, that many other job openings are not listed, and that the classified ads sometimes do not give all of the important information. They may offer little or no description of the job, working conditions, or pay. Some ads do not identify the employer. They may simply give a post office box to mail your resume to, making follow-up inquiries very difficult. Some ads offer out-of-town jobs; others advertise employment agencies rather than actual employment opportunities.
When using classified ads, keep the following in mind:
Do not rely solely on the classifieds to find a job; follow other leads as well.
Answer ads promptly, because openings may be filled quickly, even before the ad stops appearing in the paper.
Read the ads every day, particularly the Sunday edition, which usually includes the most listings.
Beware of "no experience necessary" ads. These ads often signal low wages, poor working conditions, or commission work.
Keep a record of all ads to which you have responded, including the specific skills, educational background, and personal qualifications required for the position.
Internet Networks & Resources
The Internet, which is available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, provides a variety of information, including job listings and job search resources and techniques. However, no single network or resource will contain all of the information available on employment or career opportunities, so be prepared to search for what you need. Remember that job listings may be posted by field or discipline, so begin your search using keywords.
When searching employment databases on the Internet, it is sometimes possible to send your resume to an employer by e-mail or to post it on-line. Some sources allow you to send e-mail free of charge, but be careful that you are not going to incur any additional charges for postings or updates.
State Employment Services
The State Employment Service, sometimes called Job Service, operates in coordination with the U.S. Department of Laborís Employment Service. Local offices, found nationwide, help jobseekers find jobs and help employers find qualified workers at no cost to either. To find the office nearest you, look in the State government telephone listings under "Job Service" or "Employment."
Job Matching and Referral: At the State employment service office, an interviewer will determine if you are "job ready" or if you need help from counseling and testing services to assess your occupational aptitudes and interests and to help you choose and prepare for a career. After you are "job ready," you may examine available job listings and select openings that interest you. A staff member can then describe the job openings in detail and arrange for interviews with prospective employers.
Americaís Job Bank, run by the U.S. Department of Laborís Employment and Training Administration, provides: Information on preparing your resume and using the Internet for your job search; trends in the U.S. job market; State occupational projections; and a list of approximately 1 million job openings. The list contains a wide range of mostly full-time private sector jobs that are available all over the country. Jobseekers can access this list on the Internet at: http://www.ajb.dni.us. Computers with access to the Internet are available to the public in any local public employment service office, as well as in schools, libraries, and military installations.
Tips for Finding the Right Job, a U.S. Department of Labor pamphlet, offers advice on determining your job skills, organizing your job search, writing a resume, and making the most of an interview. Job Search Guide: Strategies For Professionals, another U.S. Department of Labor publication, discusses specific steps that jobseekers can follow to identify employment opportunities. This publication includes sections on handling job loss, managing personal resources, assessing personal skills and interests, researching the job market, conducting the job search, and networking. Check with your State employment service office, or order a copy of these and other publications from the U.S. Government Printing Officeís Superintendent of Documents by telephone: (202) 512-1800 or via the Internet at: http://www.gpo.gov or at: http://www.dol.gov
Services for Special Groups: By law, veterans are entitled to priority for job placement at State employment service centers. If you are a veteran, a veteransí employment representative can inform you of available assistance and help you deal with problems.
State Service Centers refer youths between 16 and 21 and economically disadvantaged applicants to opportunities available under the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) of 1982. They also help prepare individuals facing employment barriers for jobs.
Information on Federal Government jobs is available from the Office of Personnel Management through a telephone-based system. Consult your telephone directory under U.S. Government for a local number or call (912) 757-3100; TDD (912) 744-2299. Information also is available on the Internet at: http://www.usajobs.opm.gov
Many professions have associations that offer employment information, including career planning, educational programs, job listings, and job placement. To use these services, associations usually require that you be a member of their association; information can be obtained directly from an association through the Internet, by telephone, or by mail.
Labor unions provide various employment services to members, including apprenticeship programs that teach a specific trade or skill. Contact the appropriate labor union or State apprenticeship council for more information.
It is possible to apply directly to employers without a referral. You may locate a potential employer in the Yellow Pages, in local chambers of commerce directories, and in other directories that provide information about employers. When you find an employer that interests you, send a cover letter and resume even if you are not certain that an opening exists.
Private Employment Agencies
These agencies can be helpful, but they are in business to make money. Most operate on a commission basis, with the fee dependent upon a percentage of the salary paid to a successful applicant. You or the hiring company will pay a fee. Find out the exact cost and who is responsible for paying associated fees before using the service.
Although employment agencies can help you save time and contact employers who otherwise might be difficult to locate, the costs may outweigh the benefits if you are responsible for the fee. Consider any guarantees the agency offers when determining if the service is worth the cost.
Many nonprofit organizations, including religious institutions and vocational rehabilitation agencies, offer counseling, career development, and job placement services, generally targeted to a particular group, such as women, youth, minorities, ex-offenders, or older workers.
PLEASE NOTE: The material in this publication is within the public domain and has been reprinted here from the Occupational Outlook Handbook (Division of Occupational Outlook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Washington, DC 20212. Phone: (202) 691-5700. Fax: (202) 691-5745. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.). To view other articles from the Occupational Outlook Handbook, please visit the BLS.