Homeschool (unschool) author Karen M. Gibson provides information and links to assist in your job (employment) search.

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There are only two places in the world where time takes precedence over the job to be done. School and prison.
~ William Glasser

    First Steps in Conducting a Job Search

    Hunting for jobs can be like a treasure hunt. You need to turn over every stone, look behind every tree. While the job you want may not be there, the next clue you need, the next set of directions just might be there.

    The first step is to have a great resume. There are many places online where you can find assistance in this area. We found to be very helpful.

    Once you have your resume in order, then it is time to begin looking at the various job boards. If you want, you can post your resume on most job boards. Some even give you the option of posting two or three different resumes, which is sometimes a good option if you have so many skills that you can make different resumes tailored to different types of jobs. Or you can post a public and private resume. Public ones are those visible to any employer who may be searching for candidates. You can choose to leave off identifying information, such as your phone number or your current place of employment. That way if your boss is looking for another employee, he won't' stumble across your resume and realize that you are job hunting. A private resume is one that has all your identifying information on it. Usually the job board will contact you that a prospective employer would like to view your private resume and you tell the job board to release that info to the prospective employer, if you so desire.

    When you search for jobs, use the major industry buzzwords from your resume in your search parameters. If you have a certification, search for all jobs that have that in the criteria. Or if you have a special skill, like Java or Citrix, make a list of those buzzwords and put them all in the search option. Tell the site to search for any of those words, not all of them.

    Most job boards allow you to set up "job searches" that will automatically run daily and e-mail you with the results. So after you take the initial time to set up your account, your resume and your search parameters, you will get a daily e-mail. This will save you a lot of time in the long run. And use more than one job search engine. No one board has every job.

    How To Find Recruiters

    Recruiters can be very helpful, especially in some industries such as IT. It seems like most jobs these days in IT begin as a contract job that turns into a permanent position. Many businesses find it easier to get approval from HR to hire on a contract basis and they will turn to recruiters to fill those positions. Most recruiters receive their pay directly from the company that is looking for workers, not from you, the employee. Many offer health insurance, 401Ks and other benefits, so don't dismiss a possible job simply because it is coming through a recruiter. Often times that is the only way you will get a foot in the door of many companies.

    There is no way anyone could possibly list all the recruiters on one page; there are so many national firms and an even larger number of smaller, local firms. The best way I found to locate these was to check any and all types of job listings that was even close to what we were looking for and some that were not close but were in the same industry. Those listings are often by recruiters rather than employers. So follow the links on the job listing back to the original recruiter. Check out their website. If it seems like they have job listings similar to what you are looking for, contact them by e-mail and then telephone. Let them know what you are looking for, if you are willing to relocate, etc. Some recruiters are hungrier than others and will work harder to help you find a position. Calling them weekly to remind them that you are still looking for work is a good idea, especially those that seem to be finding possibilities for you.

    One caveat: be sure to keep track of the jobs you have applied to. I kept a spreadsheet that listed the job title, the search engine it was located on, the date applied, the job number, the contact info, and then any follow up info I thought I might need. And I also kept a word document copy of the original job applied for. Too many companies use more than one recruiter and more than one job board. You will soon begin to recognize some job descriptions because you have seen them several times. Maybe even applied to it a few weeks ago through another recruiter. You do not want to apply to the same job twice through two different recruiters. This usually results in your application being discarded by the employer because they do not want to figure out how to split the income to the recruiters for your placement. So keep track of what you apply for and with whom and do no duplicate. Sometimes it is difficult to tell whether two job descriptions are for the same job, as some recruiters abbreviate the description or use a different formatting. Watch carefully.

    Best of luck!

    General Information to Get Started

    BBB Alerts & News: Employment Services
    An article from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) on Employment Services. A good read before you begin your employment search.

    Occupational Outlook Handbook
    U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook. Information provided to help you with career planning and decisions.

    Payscale, Salary Comparison, Salary Survey, Wages
    Get accurate, real-time salary reports based on your job title, location, education, skills and experience.

    Sperling's Best Places
    Sperling's Best Places. Helpful when considering a possible relocation. Compare cost of living, schools, climate, etc.

    Karen M. Gibson
    Copyright April 2007

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