Many historians have credited George Washington, when he was commissioned to command the Virginia Army, for being the first officer to instill military discipline to the colonial troops. In a letter to the Captains of the Virginia Regiments in 1756 he stated, “Discipline is the soul of an army. It makes small numbers formidable, procures success to the weak and esteem to all.”

job-searchWhether you have just started your job search or been involved in a search for several months, including those who are in a career transition program, keep in mind these four tried-and-true ways of finding a job. Discipline yourself to use all of these basic techniques rather than just answering advertisements through the Internet. Richard Bolles, in his 2012 edition of “What Color Is Your Parachute,” explains that only 10% of jobs are found by looking at employers’ Internet job-postings. This is contrary to how many people think they are going to find their next position.

  1. Network. Many jobs opportunities are never advertised. They are filled before a company needs to advertise. So how do you apply for jobs that aren’t advertised? It is through networking which is the art of building relationships. And through these relationships, many job seekers are able to uncover current and future job opportunities. Friends, neighbors, acquaintances and former co-workers are often excellent resources for job seekers. Other sources for networking activities can include things like attending professional and trade association meetings; volunteering at a local hospital or community event; attending formal religious and university networking activities and more.
  2. Use Social Media. Social media sites can uncover open positions. According to a 2011 survey by, which provides recruiting tools for many large and small employers, the use of social media for recruiting has been expanding, and the trend is expected to continue: 89% will recruit in social networks this year. Social media sites like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook can help job seekers connect with others and build relationships.
  3. Answer Help Wanted Advertisements. Are you aware that some companies are still advertising through help want ads? Look at the newspaper’s Sunday editions. Yes, it is a long shot to finding a job, but it only takes one response that could lead to a job for you. For people seeking professional positions, a good source of job ads are through the professional trade journals which can be accessed online. Also, there are hundreds of jobs boards that can be found on the Internet.  Besides going to the larger boards like Monster and CareerBuilder go to meta search engines like Indeed, Juju and SimplyHired.
  4. Work with Employment Agencies. Besides releasing your resume to recruiters who specialize in filling full-time positions, contact firms that focus on filling temporary and long-term contract positions. Many job seekers don’t realize temporary and contract positions can lead to permanent employment.

Looking for a job is hard work! If you discipline yourself to use these techniques, your job-search activities will give you a road map to follow which should assist you in landing your new opportunity quicker. As George Washington said in 1783 in a letter to Bushrod Washington who was a U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice and the nephew of George Washington, “Merit rarely goes unrewarded.”

If you are in a career transition program or are in the middle of a job search campaign, give us your insight. What job search method is working best for you?

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