How To Find Potential Employers That Fit Your Needs
Once you decide on your ideal job and what to look for in a new employer, use all available resources to find an employer or job. Resources to consider include the following:
Personal contacts:- Networking
The largest percentage of jobs are found through networking. Let at least the following people know you are looking for a job.
- Former co-workers
- Your doctors
- Your cancer buddy
- Members of your support group
- Your professor or class instructor
- Anyone who could potentially be of assistance.
You can network in person, by e-mail, and through social networking sites such as Facebook. and particularly LinkedIn , If you do not have one, at least get a LinkedIn page. In addition to helping you find a job, an employer may find you because a lot of employers looked to LinkedIn for potential employees.
- Write a compelling profile.
- Upload a photo of yourself that you would like an employer to see.
- Ask for substantive recommendations.
- Post status updates regularly.
- Join a few groups and actively participate.
- DO NOT talk about your health condition on LinkedIn. It is a professional place.
Keep track of the people in your network as it expands (including names and contact information), what you discussed, when you discussed it, next steps (including date to follow up), and other notes. For people who are new to your network, include how you met them and when. It may seem obvious now, but it's easy for forget as time goes on.
Follow up with your network.
According to Smart Money Magazine, company Web sites lead to more new hires than any other method except personal referrals. Identify companies in your area or an area to which you would consider relocating. Then visit their website for employment opportunities. Usually, you can even apply online.
Also consider looking at:
- www.LinkUp.com . The site aggregates listings from company websites.
- InternetInc.com lists job boards by career field.
The tried and true method. Remember to get to newspapers early in the day! Some papers even publish their want ads days before their Sunday edition. You can also find employment ads from most newspapers online.
Search The Internet
The beauty of the internet is you can handle your entire job search from the privacy of your own home. All the work can be done on line - from preparing your resume to researching a potential employer, to contacting a company. The down side is that you could have to sift through hundreds of thousands of listings.
When searching for a job on the internet:
- Consider an online site that matches your resume with the needs of potential employers -- it could save you lots of time. For example:
Search on sites geared to your age group. For instance, AARP lists firms that are interested in hiring workers age 50 or older. It lets you know whether the companies offer flexible hours and other benefits. The site is free and open to people of all ages. www.aarp.org/money/careers/findingajob/featuredemployers/info.html . Other sites for people over 50 include:
Following are some large private and government job sites:
- America's Job Bank -- www.jobsearch.org --government run site provides listings of jobs across the country.
- Federal government employment web site: http://www.usajobs.opm.gov or call the U.S. Department of Labor: 877.872.5627.
- President's Committee of Employment of People with Disabilities -- www.pcepd.gov -includes a list of companies, by state, that actively recruit individuals with disabilities. Also includes links to employment and rehabilitation programs in each state.
- CareerBuilder -- www.careerbuilder.com
- Hot jobs - www.Hotjobs.com
- Indeed - www.Indeed.com (includes job listings from newspapers, professional associations, major job boards, etc.
- Monster.com - www.monster.com
Also consider using your favorite search engine. Type in a key phrase or word that describes the type of job you're looking for. For example: "Job wanted carpenter Chicago Illinois"
NOTE: If you are currently working, be careful about posting your resume on the internet. Your current employer could see it!
Local disease specific non-profit organization: Ask your local organization if they offer any type of job placement services, or if they list job openings for clients.
Volunteer Organizations: If you have been volunteering for an organization, let people at the organization know that you are looking for work. Also, ask if they have any type of referral program or maintain job listings.
Neighborhood Bulletin Boards: There may be job listings on a community or neighborhood bulletin board.
Colleges or Universities in your area: It's worth a call to see if they offer any job services to the local community. Many schools post employment opportunities on their websites.
Pounding the Pavement: This old-fashioned method still has merit. Identify potential employers and stop in to complete an application or just to announce that you are looking for work and would like the opportunity to schedule an interview. Be sure to leave a copy of your resume. For more information on resumes, see Resumes.
Head Hunter/Career Counselors: Consider speaking with career counselors or head hunters in your local area or beyond. To find one, ask people in your network. At the least, you can go to your favorite internet search engine and type in words like "career counselor Roanoke Virginia" or look in your local yellow pages.
Employment Agencies: Employment agencies match applicants with companies seeking employees. Find out what fees are involved if you use an employment agency. Fees are usually paid by the employer.
Temp Agencies: Like employment agencies, temp agencies match workers with employers, but specialize in short term projects or piece work.
- Temp positions can help you be sure you are physically and mentally up to the job.
- A temp position can often turn into a full time job if you are matched with an employer that likes your work.
- Temp work also gives you a chance to see if you like working at the employer's.
Self Employment: If your ideal job doesn't exist, consider creating it -- whether with an employer that you can convince needs your skills and/or expertise, or by going into business for yourself. For more information, see Self Employment.
NOTE: If you are 50 or older, consider purchasing AARP's book: AARP Great Jobs For Everyone 50+: Finding Work That Keeps You Happy and Healthy... and Pays the Bills. You can obtain the book from bookstores and directly from www.AARP.org