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How to Find a Job

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Use a Variety of Methods to Find the Job of Your Dreams

There's no one right way to find a job. Busy mothers might find it easiest to apply for a variety of positions on job websites, but hiring a babysitter so you can meet with a job recruiter or network with former colleagues just might be the ticket to finding a job that you love. It can take time, though, and if you want a job faster, you might consider starting with a temp agency. This is also a route to choose if you're not sure what type of work you want to do. In this day and age, though, finding a job that you love and will meet all your requirements will likely take a combination of methods.

Use Your Network

Even if you don't think about it often, everyone you know has connections. Your friends might not work in your industry, but perhaps a co-worker's husband does—and he just happens to be searching for the right candidate for an open position. Make a list of everyone you know—without any skipping—from high school buddies to college friends to your colleagues at that first (and second, and third) job you had. Every few weeks, touch base with one of them to find out what they have been doing and if there are any career opportunities in your realm.

You can also network through traditional means, such as connecting with alumni from your university or attending a happy hour for a professional society in your area. Make sure to bring business cards to share, even if you're not currently working; just include your name, field and contact information.

Finding a Job Online

Online job hunting has come a long way. One key tool in your arsenal is LinkedIn, the networking website that allows you to connect with people in your industry, as well as search for career opportunities. Make sure you use this tool to its full potential, including signing up for alerts for jobs and new potential connections.

Then, of course, scour a variety of job boards, including Monster, CareerBuilder and ZipRecruiter. Set up alerts for new jobs that meet the parameters that you're looking for, including location, title and salary level. If you know of specific companies that you'd like to work for, head straight to its website. Sometimes, organizations don't send out their job listings to bigger sites but instead post them only on their own websites.

Using a Recruiter

A recruiter can be a valuable asset, particularly if you're looking for a senior-level position. Headhunters either are hired specifically to recruit for a particular position within a company or know of job openings with multiple organizations that aren't advertised publicly. Often, the headhunter's salary is paid by the recruiting organization, not by the job candidate.

If you're not quite at senior level, there are still recruiters out there who will work with you to find a position you're happy with, though they might charge a fee. Choose one who specializes in your industry or skill set; for example, some recruiters only place people in finance or in human resource positions. These niche recruiters will also have a deeper knowledge of what positions are available.