After a year of job searching and months of unemployment, I became quite the expert in the online job search. It’s 2011 so duh, almost all job openings are listed online (and I say ALMOST for a reason).
When I graduated, I made the STUPID mistake of paying for memberships to job websites… I joined 4entertainmentcareers.net and others – and was barely interested in any of the jobs listed. Yeah they had jobs, but I should nottttt have paid for a membership. I got NO interviews from these sites and had NO income to support my memberships. Don’t make this mistake! Jobs are everywhere online (you should be networking while looking too) so don’t freak out and pay for some stupid site – It’s a waste of money that you don’t have.
Here are some successful job searching sites and how to properly use them:
Craigslist: It’s really not as sketchy as it seems… If you’re not looking directly at a company’s HR site, how would you find their job listings??? Of course a company is going to want to put themselves out there and recruit future employees – so why not put an ad on craigslist? The job postings on craigslist are endless and there really is something for everyone. Usually, if a job posting is on craigslist, they will give a direct email address for you to contact – making it more personal than submitting your resume to some online database. This isn’t the case for every position though – sometimes they will just give a link to their direct job site… but either way, apply! Most jobs on craigslist usually are looking for someone to start asap – unless stated otherwise. When looking at a job’s ad on craigslist, make sure a company is listed… if a company isn’t listed make sure the ad is legit – some companies like to keep themselves confidential and will let you know who they are only if they contact you back for an interview – But most companies on craigslist will tell you in their ad. If you send a response to an ad, and the response you receive back is sketchy or the company seems a bit out there (and/or you can’t find any information about it on Google) then you might want to reconsider your interview… I never had a problem with craigslist, and definitely scored the most interviews through the site. Here’s a searching tip: On the left side of the screen you can “search craigslist” – so let’s say you’re looking for a job in video… you can just type in “video” and put the drop in as “jobs” – or you can narrow it down to let’s say “finance entry level”…. this way, you can find jobs to apply to in all different categories.
Indeed.com and Simplyhired.com: These sites are pretty much the same thing and USUALLY pull the same results – but not all the time. I mostly use indeed.com, but if you’re a job seeker, I’d check both on a daily basis. At first, these sites can be overwhelming… Basically you type in what you’re looking for – and then put the area you’re looking in. Jobs are pulled from EVERYWHERE. And I mean everywhere. Basically, from every job site listed below and more… including Monster. You really have to get creative with what you’re searching for. Since I want to work in television in Boston, I did not really have a problem searching for those jobs (since there aren’t many jobs in television in Boston)… So I search “television” or “video production” within 25 miles of “Boston.” Of course, jobs that are not entry level come up when I search that, but after months of searching, I pretty much know what I should apply to and what I shouldn’t. As a new job seeker, you should scan any position that looks interesting to you… And if you see something – GO FOR IT! Unless it wants a minimum of 3+ years experience. Sometimes you can make the cut at 2 or 1 professional years of experience (if you have internship, co-op, or office experience)… but most of the time – they’re just not going to pick you. Sorry, but it’s true. We’re in a recession and people with master degrees and yeaaaaars of experience are going for our entry level jobs throwing us under the bus – that’s why you have to interview, interview, interview – the more practice, the better! You need to show up these experienced people. NOTE: I found my current job on indeed.com – and after I interviewed, I realized I had known someone through a networking contact – so all those awkward networking events and those awkward “keep in touch” emails really do help!
LinkedIn: Not only can you have your own professional profile on LinkedIn, but you can search for jobs too. If you follow certain companies that you’re interested in, company updates including new hires, promotions, departures, AND job opportunities will come onto your newsfeed. In addition to this, you can join alumni groups to your college or high school – or a group for an association you are apart of – and people will post jobs there… Especially college alumni groups, since we all have a soft spot in our hearts for our alma mater. You will get notifications sent to your email from groups you are members of with jobs or people looking to network. It’s a great way to get yourself out there and network. I found a bunch of alumni from my college who either live near me or work at companies I am very interested in… Why not connect to them and send a message? People love talking about themselves… and the worst thing that would happen is that they won’t accept your invitation to connect OR they won’t respond… but whatever – it’s their loss! Start networking and join LinkedIn now!
Twitter: I know I’ve said this before, but Twitter is where it’s at. If you don’t have an account make one now, and start tweeting!!! To find jobs on here you can search ALL of twitter at the top of your screen just like you would on indeed.com… For ex “television jobs nyc” or “PR jobs boston” . Sometimes people want savvy, young, social media rock stars… so if you can find a job through a tweet, then you are definitely cut out for the media world. ALSO, follow companies HR and job twitter accounts that you’re interested in. For example, nbcunicareers and mtvnetworkjobs are always tweeting job openings at NBC & MTV. Find your faves on Twitter today…
For Media Job Seekers! (Sorry – I spent months… well more like over a year… searching for jobs in media – so that’s my “specialty”)
Mediabistro.com: Was told about this site through a networking contact – They have a lot of good jobs and interesting companies. You can also post your own profile for freelance work – but honestly, contact people directly and apply to jobs … it works better.
Mandy.com: Lots of freelance work AND full time work on here… some of it is unpaid – so if you ONLY want paid work, you can search for that. Most of these jobs are for immediate hire, unless specified otherwise… And once again, they usually provide a direct email to send your resume and cover letter to – so it’s pretty personal. You have to be on top of these jobs and apply as soooon as you see them… because if they’re interested in you, they’ll call you as soon as they see you.
Entertainmentcareers.net: Basic entertainment careers site. Good if you want to work in the entertainment industry in NYC or LA… I know they had a few jobs in Boston when I was looking – but any job posted on there, I saw on craigslist or indeed, so don’t fret if you’re not on there everyday.
In addition to these general sites, I also made a list of companies I was interested in and checked their job postings – every day. I’m not lying. You should do that too. TV/Entertainment Industry grads – my list involved nbc, mtv, abc, cbs, fox, time warner, rainbow media, scripps networks, discovery communications, oprah winfrey network – and then I would check the local news affiliates in Boston.
Coming soon: Networking Advice…… and then Why Your Location Matters. Have any other ideas for job advice posts? Let me know!