First and foremost, I checked company web sites regularly for job openings. In today’s employment world, almost every company has a web site. For many companies, the first place that jobs are posted is on their web site. Why? Because it’s free for them to do so, it’s fast for them to do so, and in many cases that’s that only place they will need to post job openings. With so many people looking for jobs today, they can get all the qualified candidates they want by simply posting job openings on their web site.
Knowing this, I made a list of about 25 companies and organizations that I felt were appropriate for the types of positions I was seeking. I then checked the online job postings at least twice a week for all 25 companies. Usually, I checked on Tuesday and Friday, as these are the days that I normally post openings on my company’s web site.
Next, for the major newspapers in the geographical areas in which I’d consider, I checked the online job ads weekly and carefully read the Sunday paper classifieds. It’s important to do both because some companies advertise jobs only online or only in the paper edition (because each one charges separately).
Then, I checked job postings in the major online job sites regularly, usually three times a week, unless I had set up a job search agent. With a job search agent, there’s no need to check regularly because the search agent will send you new jobs, based on the search criteria you set up. But I did occasionally check online in the categories I didn’t include in my job search agent, just in case.
I did NOT attend job fairs, again because I was still employed and did not want to run into anyone from my current employer. If I had been unemployed I would have definitely considered job fairs that included companies in which I was interested.
I spent about two or three hours a day, two or three days a week, on my job search. If I were unemployed, I would have treated my job search as a full time job and spent several hours every day on it.
You may be wondering why I didn’t register with an executive recruiter and let them do all the work of finding me a job. Part of the answer is that recruiters don’t find jobs for people – they find people for jobs.
That’s right. Recruiters work for the companies that have jobs, not for the job searcher. The recruiter is paid by the company and thus works for the company. They don’t help people find jobs, but rather help jobs find people. This is an important distinction to understand.
Also, unless you are a well known person in your industry, a senior level executive, or possess a skill set in very high demand, it will be difficult to get a “head hunter” to accept your resume and contacting them will simply be a waste of your time.
Plus, it’s very expensive for a company to use a recruiter. It’s not unusual for the fee to be from 25% to 33% of the annual salary of the position being recruited. With so many qualified candidates looking for jobs in today’s difficult economy, companies are less willing to pay recruitment fees for anything but high level or hard to find skills.
In my next post, I’ll tell you how I found the job posting for the job I eventually accepted and explain exactly how I went about applying for that job.