So you've graduated, you're home and it's time to start (or continue) the job search. The internet offers so much career advice, it can be overwhelming, so here are some key places to start. Once you narrow down your search, you will find niche sites that will provide even more help.
Please note: The recommendation of these sites is for the free content information only and is not an endorsement for any additional services offered. Always investigate thoroughly before you pay any money for assistance in your job search, whether it's an online service or a consultant in your community.
So let's get started:
1. Your college's career center. Regardless of whether you used their services when you were a student, your college's career center likely has a wealth of information online. Find out if you are still eligible for services-and if you need them, use them. Search the site for pages limited to current students/recent grads only-- usually these are behind a registration process. Many schools subscribe to valuable (expensive) online services for students only. My career center offers free Vault guides, extensive job search/networking through CareerShift, and other resources at no cost to our students and recent alumni-- but they have to register online to get those bonuses.
2. Social media sites. Twitter, LinkedIn , and Facebook are the big three at the moment, but be on the lookout for new social media sites. TweetMyJobs is just one example of job links on Twitter. Social media sites are invaluable for networking opportunities and creating a brand. Make sure your profiles are professional and current. Many recruiters go straight to LinkedIn for new hires. If you're not there, you won't be seen. Use keywords related to your field in all your profiles.
3.Job search engines like Linkup, Indeed, or SimplyHired They all capture a variety of opportunities posted on the web. You can search for a job title anywhere in the world, or limit yourself to a zip code. You can also search by job category if you're not sure of the specific title you're seeking. If you're looking for freelance writing opportunities or other work-from-home ideas, check out DoNanza. As always, it's buyer beware: research all online opportunities thoroughly.
4. Go directly to the websites and social media sites for companies or organizations you'd like to work for. Some companies might even have an app for your phone. Look at what Pepsico is doing. Accenture and Yahoo Careers have excellent career pages. Make sure you're tied into them and be sure that your communication with them via social networking is professional at all times.
5. Quintessential Careers. There are a ton of career advice sites-- I happen to like Quintessential Careers.
6. USAJobs is the main jobsite for federal employment opportunites. There's even a special section for students and recent grads. Be sure to also look up the job listings for your state, county or city.
7. Weddle's is a good general site for lots of career links and information. They offer an online association directory with links to over 3,000 professional associations. This feature alone makes visiting the website valuable. Weddle's also publishes a blog, Workstrong, which provides a lot of links to other career-related sites.
8. Online career sections of newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal or The New York Times provide great articles as well as industry forecasts, etc. Bookmark your local newspaper (or the main newspaper for the geographic area you would like to work in) and read it regularly for information about new industries, business openings, job listings, etc.
9. Craigslist. My students report a lot of success with finding jobs on Craigslist, so I'm including it here, but with a note of caution-- here's an article about avoiding job scams posted on Craigslist. And, here's an article about how to use Craigslist in your job search.
10. Online branding sites. Finally, I can't over-emphasize the importance of online branding in the job search. Here are some links for more information about constructing your online profile to impress employers. Dan Schawbel's personal branding blog; Career Transitions post about branding. We're All Branded.
Photo credit: Circe Surfs the Web by Mike Licht