ERIC Identifier: ED429189
Publication Date: 1999-00-00
Author: Wagner, Judith O.
Source: ERIC Clearinghouse on
Adult Career and Vocational Education Columbus OH.
Job Search Methods for the 21st Century. ERIC Digest No. 207.
During the past several years, the job hunt has changed. The World Wide Web
has become an important source for job information and career development (Brown
1998; Wagner 1996, 1998, 1999). This Digest combines updates of LOCATING JOB
INFORMATION. ERIC DIGEST NO. 85 (Wagner 1989) and JOB SEARCH METHODS. ERIC
DIGEST NO. 121 (Wagner 1992).
THE JOB SEARCH
The first step in looking for a job is to
decide what type of a job you are looking for. Determine what skills you have
that are marketable and match them with available jobs. A variety of methods for
determining what job is best for you are described by Athanasou and Hoskiug
(1998), Carney and Wells (1994), and Martin (1998). Job leads can be found
through employment agencies, career centers, the public library, the newspaper,
on the Internet, and through networking. It may be necessary to use more than
one method when looking for a job ("Tips on Finding and Getting a Job" 1998).
Many public libraries, universities and colleges, and high schools have
job/career/occupational centers that include a variety of books and materials
related to the job search. Information about choosing the right career, finding
information about available jobs, applying for jobs (application, resumes, and
cover letters), and interviewing will be available at these centers. Although
titles may vary, these agencies will all have materials similar to those listed
here. In addition, they may have people who can assist you either in workshops
or on a one-to-one basis.
State-sponsored, one-stop career centers provide the resources necessary to
succeed in the 21st century workplace. They offer services such as unemployment
benefit application, state employment agency registration, free job search
assistance, and training program information (Mariani 1997). A list of one-stop
centers is available on the World Wide Web at
To locate companies who offer positions you want, the following websites
offer electronic editions of company information resources that you will also
find in public libraries:
<hoovers.com> Includes features such as company information, stock quotes,
investor resources, top officers, and a career center.
REGISTER OF AMERICAN MANUFACTURERS <www.thomas register.com/> Contains
information about thousands of companies.
"85% of all job openings are not advertised, posted, or otherwise made
available to the general public" (J. Michael Farr) ("Tips on Finding and Getting
a Job" 1998). Networking and personal contacts are very important when looking
for a job. Companies would prefer to hire someone who is known or recommended to
them rather than a stranger. Personal contacts also benefit the job seeker who
is more apt to get an interview when referred by a colleague of the employer
(Wagner 1992). In addition to networking, you can find information on job
openings through want ads in the newspaper, employment agencies, and the
DEVELOPING A RESUME
Resumes offer information about you
that a typical application form will not. In addition to information such as
your name, address, and phone number, a resume should include a job goals
statement; your educational history; work history including student employment,
volunteer experiences, and military service; and any memberships that relate to
your job objective. The purpose of a resume is to sell yourself to a potential
employer--make it positive and short because "the average employer will spend
7-10 seconds reading your resume" ("Tips on Finding and Getting a Job" 1998).
In today's job market, an online resume is essential. Many job websites
provide assistance in preparing electronic resumes and will post them at no cost
(Wagner 1999). One source for information about submitting an electronic resume
is America's Talent Bank <atb.mesc.state.mi.us/atb/seeker/index.html>.
APPLYING AND INTERVIEWING
Once you have found a job opening
that sounds promising, you must apply for it by filling out an application form
or sending your resume with a cover letter. A cover letter is an introduction to
the person who will hire you. You should have a strong opening statement that
gives your strengths. Look at the interview as a sales job; a typical employer
will make a hiring decision within the first 7 minutes of the interview. Helpful
steps for the interview include the following (Tips on Finding and Getting a
a good first impression
conservatively but one step up from what is usually worn on the job
on time or even early
a firm handshake
not discuss negative feelings
information about yourself that you want the employer to know
out next steps in the process
the interview, send a thank-you letter
why you would be good for the job
your strongest skills
what you liked about the company
(but only once) to find out about the status of the hiring process
The resources listed here offer
information related to the job search and include sample resumes, cover letters,
and interview tips as well as information about specific jobs.
AMERICA'S TOP MILITARY CAREERS. Indianapolis, IN: JIST Works, nd. Includes
basic information on the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard
and the jobs that are offered in the services. Includes job descriptions,
training needed and available, work environment, civilian counterparts, and
opportunities in the Armed Forces.
Athanasou, J. A., and Hoskiug, K. USING A CAREER INTEREST CARD SORT FOR
VOCATIONAL ASSESSMENT AND COUNSELLING. 1998. (ED 419 960) Describes a vocational
exploration procedure to be used with adults.
Bloch, D.P. HOW TO HAVE A WINNING JOB INTERVIEW. 3D ED. Lincolnwood, IL: VGM
Career Horizons, 1998. Discusses the purpose of an interview, getting and
preparing for an interview, what to expect, and good questions and answers.
Carney, C. G., and Wells, C. F. DISCOVER THE CAREER WITHIN YOU. 4TH ED.
Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks-Cole, 1994. (ED 377 337). Provides a series of basic
steps for effective career planning.
Farr, J. M. AMERICA'S FASTEST GROWING JOBS and AMERICA'S TOP JOBS FOR PEOPLE
WITHOUT A FOUR-YEAR DEGREE. Indianapolis: JIST Works Inc. 1999. These books
include descriptions of the fastest growing jobs in the United States and jobs
that do not require a four-year college degree, information on career planning
and job search techniques, important trends in the labor market, details on 500
major occupations, and reviews of career-related materials.
Farr, J. M., and Ludden, L. L. THE O*NET DICTIONARY OF OCCUPATIONAL TITLES.
Indianapolis, IN: JIST Works, Inc. 1998.
<http://www.doleta.gov/programs/onet/> Includes information on hundreds of
jobs such as a description, salary, necessary education, necessary skills, and
Fisher, H. S. AMERICAN SALARIES AND WAGES SURVEY. Detroit, MI: Gale, 1997.
Looks at over 4,000 occupations and their salaries and employee statistics.
Compares salaries for the same job in different parts of the country.
FROM HIGH SCHOOL TO WORK: 150 GREAT TECH PREP CAREERS. Chicago, IL: Ferguson
Publishing Company, 1998. Includes detailed information about specific jobs
including education level, salary, work environment, and requirements.
Griffith, S. TEACHING ENGLISH ABROAD. 3D ED. Princeton, NJ: Peterson's
Guides, Inc., 1997. (ED 419 251). Offers advice on how to find English teaching
jobs and presents country-by-country look at where to find the best
Hamilton, L., and Tragert, R. 100 BEST NONPROFITS TO WORK FOR. New York:
Macmillan, 1998. Includes nonprofit agencies that have a minimum of 100
employees, an operating budget of at least $1 million, are at least 3 years old,
and have a record of following through with their stated purpose. Includes a
description of the organization, the best way to start with them, and what to
Hammer, H., ed. ARCO CIVIL SERVICE HANDBOOK. New York: Macmillan, 1996.
Includes information on working for the federal government, the U.S. Postal
Service, and state and municipal government agencies such as job announcements,
examination announcements, jobs descriptions, requirements, and advancement
Harris-Bowlsbey, J.; Dickel, M. R.; and Sampson, Jr., J.P. THE INTERNET: A
TOOL FOR CAREER PLANNING. Columbus, OH: National Career Development Association,
1998. Includes websites for assessment, databases, career information, and
communication as well as information on potential problems and ethical concerns,
models of use, guidelines for the use of the Internet in career services, and
standards for the ethical practice o f Web counseling.
THE JOBBANK SERIES. Holbrook, MA: Adams Media Corp. Offers information on
finding jobs in 32 major cities. Includes information about local industries,
primary employers, regional professional associations, and the job outlook.
Discusses the basics of job winning, resumes and cover letters, and is arranged
Maki, K. E., and Savage, K. M., eds. PROFESSIONAL CAREERS SOURCEBOOK. A GALE
CAREER INFORMATION GUIDE and VOCATIONAL CAREERS SOURCEBOOK. A GALE CAREER
INFORMATION GUIDE. Detroit, MI: Gale, 1997. Both guides include job
descriptions, salary information, employment outlook. Lists career guides;
professional associations; certification agencies; test guides; educational
directories; awards, scholarships, grants, and fellowships; periodicals; and
conferences and meetings.
Martin, M. JOB SOUP FOR WOMEN: 80 JOB BITES YOU CAN SINK YOUR TEETH INTO.
Circleville, OH: Melissa Martin, 1998. (ED 419 144). Provides job search tips
and teaches women about their personal job power.
OPPORTUNITIES IN...SERIES. Lincolnwood, IL: VGM Career Horizons. Volumes
cover different occupations, including a job description, related careers,
professional associations, opportunities, and training and education programs.
RESUMES FOR... PROFESSIONAL RESUME SERIES. Lincolnwood, IL: VGM Career
Horizons, 1993. Provides resume and cover letter writing tips for a variety of
occupations and situations such as midcareer change, high school graduates,
sales occupations, engineers, reentry workers, and business management.
Brown, B. L. THE WEB: CREATING AND
CHANGING JOBS. TRENDS AND ISSUES ALERT. Columbus, OH: ERIC Clearinghouse on
Adult, Career, and Vocational Education, 1998. <http://ericacve.org/docs/tia00064.htm> (ED 417 294)
Mariani, M. "One-Stop Career Centers: All in One Place and Everyplace."
OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK QUARTERLY 41, no. 3 (Fall 1997): 2-15.
Rosenthal, M. "Making Short Work of the Job Search." LIBRARY JOURNAL
(September 1, 1997): 145-148.
"Tips on Finding and Getting a Job." ICPAC INFORMATION SERIES. Bloomington,
IN: Indiana Career and Postsecondary Advancement Center, 1998. (ED 419 080)
Wagner, J.O. LOCATING JOB INFORMATION. ERIC DIGEST NO. 85. Columbus, OH: ERIC
Clearinghouse on Adult, Career, and Vocational Education, 1989. (ED 308 398)
Wagner, J.O. JOB SEARCH METHODS. ERIC DIGEST NO. 121. Columbus, OH: ERIC
Clearinghouse on Adult, Career, and Vocational Education, 1992. (ED 346 318)
Wagner, J.O. WIRED: THE ELECTRONIC JOB SEARCH. ERIC DIGEST NO. 172. Columbus,
OH: ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult, Career, and Vocational Education, 1996.
<http://ericacve.org/docs/dig172.htm> (ED 399 411)
Wagner, J.O. CAREER PLANNING ON THE INTERNET. TRENDS AND ISSUES ALERT NO. 3.
Columbus, OH: ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult, Career, and Vocational Education,