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Monday
Apr112011

Local Job Search Tips and Resources

Finding opportunities close to home

While it's a fine thing to dream about an exotic career in some far away place, a local job search generally more practical and quicker to land.

Too many people overlook opportunities close to home. Also, those who are transitioning from large organizations--a global corporation or the armed services, for example--tend not to think a local job search or working in small business.

It's worth thinking about. After all, small to mid-size businesses are important creators of new products and jobs (contributing 65% of the 15m net new jobs between 1993-2009). This is an area where you skills and experience can really make a difference.

Also, small businesses are more agile than large corporations. They respond faster to opportunity are quicker to hire whenever there's an economic upturn.

Start Looking Online

Here are a three online resources that can be very helpful to your local job search. They don't have all the services, bells and whistles of a major job search engine such as monster.com, but they actually do a better job at turning up unconventional opportunities and covering their particular niche.

Craigslist.org should be one of your first stops in a local-focused search. It makes it easy by listing jobs according to category. At any one time, you’ll find more than 30 sector listings ranging from accounting and finance to website design.

But be careful: Watch out for scammers who redirect you other sites for "background checks" or ask you to enter personal information. Most of these are websites only looking to farm the Internet for email addresses or going after affiliate marketing commissions. Others may have more sinister intentions. A word to the wise.

Ebay Classifieds

Formerly known as Kikiji, ebay Classifieds, like Craigslist, lists local jobs according to category. For example, a search for jobs posted in Denver ranged from a $100.000 opening for a portfolio manager, to language instructors, a software manager, design engineers, and charity event organizers. If a job description catches your interest, you can view all job ads by the same source to find other possibilities that may be a good fit.

Green Jobs

Track where government funding is going to in green jobs in Recovery.gov http://www.recovery.gov. It lists all federal contracts of $25,000 or more that have been awarded or up for bid. It will also direct you to job searches by state. Recovery.gov allows you to track the money that is being given out under the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act 2009, part of which is targeted at investment in renewable energy infrastructure.

Make a Personal Appearance

Networking at Local Business Events. Chambers of Commerce in your local areas have various networking events. There are power networking lunches where everyone around your table is given a minute for a one-minute “infomercial” after which you move on to the next table to do it all over again. There are also smaller-focused groups such as Women in Business.

Tip:Rather than introducing yourself as a job-seeker, you may want to style yourself as an independent consultant and use these opportunities to highlight your skills. Someone around your table may be looking for exactly what you have.

Get involved with others who share an interest. For example, here's novel way to find a green job in your local area: network at Green Drinks.

Every month this Green Drinks hosts an informal gathering of individual from business, government, academia and non-governmental organizations which are in the environmental field, along with and others who are interested.

Here's a description from their website: "These events are very simple and unstructured, but many people have found employment, made friends, developed new ideas, done deals and had moments of serendipity."

There is no fixed agenda, all attendees bring someone along, so there’s always a new and lively crowd. If there’s no Green Drinks in your area, and if the idea appeals to you, why not set one up yourself? There are now more than 766 cities around the world, GreenDrinks.org has tips and mentors to help you get one started.

Whether it's the environment or the local business community, a museum fundraiser or a town hall meeting, events at the local level offer you a wealth of opportunities to multiply the number of your contacts and spread the word that your valuable skills and experience are on the market.

So be creative. Think outside the lines. A local job search may present many more opportunities than meets the eye. Just scratch beneath the surface and you may find gold.



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