Successful Job Hunting: The Importance Of Your Local Paper

Here's a summary of why you shouldn't count out your local newspaper as a part of your job search.

In this day and age of the Internet, it can be tempting to ignore the old tried and true method of scouring the local classifieds section when looking for a job. You might think that online job search engines are the best way to find a job, and in many cases you would be right. Posting jobs online is a heck of a lot cheaper and less time consuming than placing ads in the paper, so it is definitely true that searching for a job online is an essential part of looking for employment. However, there are a few good reasons not to count out your local newspaper as part of your job search.

First of all, a look through the newspaper can give you a good picture of the overall job market at any given time. If there are lots of ads posted in widely varying fields, the market is probably pretty good. Employers are hiring, and there are positions available - and this, of course, enhances the odds that you yourself can land one of those positions. If there are not very many ads in the paper, then you may be facing a tight job market - in which case it can be good to adjust your strategies accordingly.

Second, looking through the paper can give you some ideas of specific job titles that might be available in your area. For example, if you have a degree in a field such as journalism, there are a number of titles that you can consider yourself qualified to apply for. You could be a "journalist," a "reporter," an "editor," a "writer," a "columnist," and so on. Due to the structure of the majority of Internet Web sites, it can be a little harder to pull the same type of information from browsing job sites as you can pull from browsing your newspaper. Since the newspaper information is all consolidated in one spot that is easy to look over, you can make notes of the different variations of job titles that you can apply for and then later type those job titles into a job search engine.

Third, despite the fact that we are living in a very digital era, do not underestimate the fact that there are still a significant number of businesses out there that do not have a Web presence. This may depend partly on the type of job you are seeking, but if you're working in a field, for example, that you might land a job with a small business, there's a chance that some potential employers do not have a Web site or a large digital presence. These sorts of companies might still use the local newspaper as their primary means of announcing open positions - in which case you will not learn of their openings by using the Internet and will thus miss out on a good potential opportunity.

Last, but not least, the local newspaper can offer you some help in your job search beyond the ads in the actual classified section. You should be on the lookout for information in the rest of the paper that might tip you off as to potential openings. For example, if you see an announcement in the paper that there's a new business opening, consider whether your skills might be matched to the positions they'll be hiring for - in which case shooting off your resume might get you a jump over other applicants when they later post their open positions. In addition, you might see announcements of career fairs or other events where employers might hire on the spot or schedule interviews. The Internet is indeed a wonderful thing, but it can never completely replace your local paper if you're aiming to work locally.

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