Past Issues

October 26, 2009

Great Ways to Land Your Dream Job

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Great Ways to Land Your Dream Job

By Steve Santiago, Fox Business

Even as jobs become harder to find, too many job-seekers rely on a tunnel-vision strategy that makes use of only one or two job-search methods. That strategy may eventually land you a job, but it's likely you'll spend more time being frustrated than interviewed.

So should you rely on job fairs, Internet job boards or social media for employment leads? The answer for most successful job-seekers is yes! All of the above and then some. A multipronged approach makes the best use of your time and energy.

Check out these eight ways that people search for jobs.

1. Internet job boards - Mainstream Internet job boards such as and were once the go-to resource for job-seekers. Although these job boards have been around for about 15 years, now there are many new career sites and niche job boards to also consider using. Job-seekers should post their resume on industry-specific job boards as well. is a good service for finding and posting your resume on these Web sites.

2. Networking through personal contacts - Personal contacts are the most effective way to job search. More than 80% of jobs get filled via referral. Networking means more than name dropping. It's not who you know, it's who knows you. Whether you're using social networking or personal referrals, it's important that people know your strengths, skills and the value you bring to a company before they refer you. Be specific about the kind of companies you want to work for and why you're interested in them. It will make it easier for your personal contacts to refer you to the right person.

3. Career consultants - Career consultants can be effective in helping job-seekers brand themselves, a trend that is becoming more important in an economic climate where competition for jobs is intense. Career branding is a way to market yourself much like companies market their products. You are selling yourself as a valuable commodity to employers.

4. Recruiters and private employment agencies - Recruiters, sometimes known as headhunters, are hired by companies and organizations to fill open positions. They often know about jobs before they are advertised. Many times they are hired to fill executive positions, and they're always paid by their clients, not the job-seeker. Executive headhunters can be extremely effective because the incentive to get a person placed is high. Private employment agencies generally supply temporary workers to employers. They are also worth checking out, especially those that specialize in your field of interest. is a good service to help you find recruiters and headhunters that specialize in your industry.

5. Internships - Internships can be great ways for students to gain real world experience in their area of study. Some interns are paid a salary and the internships often lead to full-time employment upon graduation. The downside? Many internships are unpaid, which can be a financial burden. Job seekers contemplating an internship should not be afraid to ask specific questions about work schedules, duties, pay and performance reviews.

6. Job fairs - Job fairs have gained a lot of visibility lately. In healthier economies, they typically attract hundreds of job-seekers but lately the numbers have escalated to thousands. Still, job fairs should be part of a multipronged approach to meet employers in person and possibly find jobs. However, they may not be as effective if you are looking for something other than entry-level work.

7. School career placement offices - Most colleges and universities have career placement offices. The problem is many students don't effectively utilize them until they are ready to graduate. Career placement offices help students with resume writing, interview coaching, job postings and other services. Take advantage of your school career placement office by using it as soon as you arrive on campus, not at the end of your senior year.

8. Government employment services - States provide employment services in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration. They help job-seekers with career counseling and occupational testing services and will often help match you with available job openings at no cost.

Local offices can be found on the Internet or in a telephone book under "job services" or by looking for your state's department of labor and workforce development. Information about federal government jobs is available from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management's USAJOBs Web site, or

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