When it comes to job searching, you may hear things like "It's not what you know, it's who you know" or "most jobs are never advertised." There is a lot of truth to these statements — but I don't think it's wise to completely disregard advertised job postings. At the end of the day, most of the jobs I've gotten have been from positions that were open and advertised. So how do you find these openings?
First, spread the word. Tell people you know that you're looking for a job. The more specific you can get, the better. If you're still in college or recently graduated, think about the experienced professionals you have access to: your parents, their friends and neighbors, older relatives, professors, people from church or community organizations... You never know who has connections to the industry where you're looking for a job.
Look at job posting search engines. Rather than combing job post sites like monster.com or craigslist, where companies have to specifically opt to post their openings, I recommend using a search engine that looks for job postings all over the Internet. My favorites are Indeed.com and SimplyHired.com. Type in the job title you're looking for and, if applicable, the city or state where you want to work, and it goes to work finding job postings that match your criteria.
Look at industry websites. Most industries have professional organizations, and many will post job openings on the organization's website. Sometimes you have to a member to view the job postings, and sometimes that costs money, but not always. There are also industry-specific job posting sites, such as higheredjobs.com, where you'll find more relevant openings than on a broader job site.
Look at specific company websites. There are plenty of companies whose job openings are put up on their website and not many other places. If there are specific companies you're interested in working for, be sure to check their websites for current openings. You might have to dig a little — sometimes jobs are under "About Us" or "Contact Us" rather than a clearly labeled "Employment" section.
If this sounds like a lot of work, you're right! Next week we'll talk about some tools you can use for having relevant job postings come to you rather than having to spend a lot of time searching for them.