Fresh Out of Ideas? Online Resources to Boost Your Job Search

by Alesia Benedict, CPRW, JCTC

If your job search has stalled, you may need some fresh ideas to get your search back on track. Simply posting your resume online and waiting for employers to call you is a common mistake that also leaves applicants feeling disheartened about their job search prospects. You must maintain a high level of activity in your job search in order to be effective. Like most things in life, active participation in your goals will yield results in your job search!

Local Library Resources

You may be surprised by the resources available at your local library that extend well beyond checking out books. Many libraries host informational events or small job fairs at the library or in the community.

However more and more libraries are offering virtual career centers with links to local job openings and career advice. In most cases you need a current library account to access services online. Typical resources include career research databases. These databases profile thousands of different types of jobs across industries that may jumpstart ideas about new opportunities and transferable skills that make you marketable in other fields. State and regional job databases that outline openings are another way to expand your career search. And salary information can give you vital data to use when you negotiate salary and benefits.

Alumni Websites

Most colleges offer career planning guidance for alumni as well as for current students. Unique offerings available through colleges and alumni centers include career assessment instruments and salary negotiation coaching. Since most students are tech- savvy, college career centers may also help analyze your online presence with checklists and tips about what to consider when cleaning up your online presence.

The range of services offered to members of the college alumni association typically extends beyond what is available online. Take advantage of your college career center’s specialty in preparing graduates for the job market by accessing their career counseling and mock interview services. Special events on campus are not always limited to current students. Job fairs may be organized to help alumni change careers or connect with business and university representatives about regional openings.

Professional Organizations

Job banks, networking opportunities, and virtual career fairs are just a few of the resources available through professional organizations.  Many traditional annual conferences which are a proven hot spot for networking opportunities, now offer virtual career fairs as a resource for those who may not be able to attend in person. Online training programs are another resource that organizations are making available through their websites. Additional training will make you more marketable while expanding that all-important professional network.

City Websites

Go beyond paying utilities at your local municipal website. Career resources include openings within your own city as well as local and national links of interest to job seekers. Local job clubs offer an informal way to network with other job seekers in your area, and are a ready resource to practice your interview skills. Job fairs and employment opportunities in your area may be listed at municipal sites as well. Consider community leadership opportunities that may help you boost your employability and help you make important connections. Many cities also list philanthropic and volunteer needs, offering additional ways to get involved and build new skills.

Military Resources

Online resources for service personnel range from reintegration programs, volunteering, and employment to training, employment rights, and schedules of upcoming career events across the country. The US Department of Labor has information about hiring veterans as well as support for families. Some professional organizations are also linking with military sites, so be certain to check those sites for additional resources. In addition, these sites help “translate” military expertise into keywords and skills that are highly valued in the business world as well.

Move your job search forward by seeking out online resources. A slight shift in perspective can significantly improve your resume, skills, and first impression to hiring managers. Take advantage of all the resources available to get a fresh start and boost the results of your job search!