Job searching: Not for the faint of heart

Please allow me to talk a little about my past.

Once upon a time, I was unemployed. I had left the world of laboratory work (or, more accurately, the world of laboratory work chewed me up and spit me out) and I was left jobless. Wanting to continue being a productive member of society, I began job hunting.

I’m sure that everyone today knows that this is done online; long gone are the days of physically going to a potential employer’s office and filling out an application. If you try this today, you will most likely hear, “Go to our website and apply online.”

I have had varying experiences with online applying.

One very popular job board today is Indeed.com. I used this a great, great deal during my job searching days, and it has come a long way since I used it regularly. These days, it can show you the details of a job you are interested in while still showing you the results of your keyword search in another half of the screen. I think this is genius. Back when I was using it, I had to click on the Back button of my browser to get back to my search results from the details of a certain job. Indeed also allows you to create a resume for use on their site–a feature which I have never used, since I like to write my own resume and include it with each job application.

Another popular choice is LinkedIn. Besides being a good form of social media (although at times it does resemble Facebook), LinkedIn has a feature in which you, after setting up your profile, can browse jobs which match your profile. Some of the jobs will even allow you to apply with just your LinkedIn profile. Many, however, will want your profile plus other items, such as a resume and cover letter; some will even want you to fill out an online application as well. Bottom line: if you have a LinkedIn profile (and, in my opinion, you should), make sure to keep it up to date!

The most luck I had while job searching, however, was to look at jobs which were on the company/organization’s own website. Many job postings lurk there while not being found on Indeed, LinkedIn, or other job boards. If you need help deciding on a company whose website to search for jobs, look at the companies that come up on LinkedIn or Indeed, or run a Google search for, say, “Cancer research organizations.”

And what about CareerBuilder.com and Monster.com? They are SO two decades ago. Don’t bother with them.

I wish you the best!

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