If you're looking to work where you live, you'll want to target your job search efforts around local job listings. After all, if you live in Idaho, browsing through job opportunities in Wisconsin simply isn't helpful, unless you're open to a cross-country move.
For a more efficient, productive process, you'll want to narrow down your job search criteria to highlight jobs near you—or in the locations where you're interested in finding work. Here's how to get started.
Use Local Job Search Resources
First, use local search resources. Sounds simple, doesn't it? But many job seekers get so focused on 21st-century job-search methods that they forget about the old-fashioned ones.
Start close to home, and look for resources in your city or town, such as the following:
Chamber of Commerce website: Look at the Chamber of Commerce website in your area. If you're willing to commute, you may want to look on several sites. Employers that are members of the Chamber of Commerce can post job opportunities for free, and these local job listings are often posted on the website before being advertised elsewhere.
Craigslist: Craigslist is another excellent source for finding local job listings.
Social media sites: Check your local Nextdoor.com site for job opportunities right in your own neighborhood. Joining local Facebook groups may also give you access to local job listings. Plus, you can always introduce yourself to the group and mention the type of role you're looking for—you never know who will see your post, and potentially be able to connect you with a suitable hiring company.
Libraries, colleges, and more: Local libraries typically won't post jobs (except for opportunities at those establishments), but some library websites may have rich resources for job searchers. Local colleges and universities may also offer useful resources that can be accessed by anyone (not just alumni). For example, Cornell University lists several resources for local job hunters.
Department of Labor: Search "department of labor" and your state's name to find this governmental website, which may offer state-level job boards as well as other helpful resources for job seekers.
One of the easiest ways to find local job listings is to search Google. Search for job titles or types of jobs you’re interested in, and Google will show you listings at the top of the search results.
Use Job Search Sites
Using a job search site such as Monster or Indeed is a great way to find local job listings. To find local jobs, enter the type of job you are interested in as a keyword, followed by your city, state, and ZIP code. Advanced search options will enable you to refine your local job search even further, and search by company, words in the job title, and the radius from a city or ZIP code.
Check the Classifieds
The next step in conducting a local job search is to check your local newspaper's classified ads on a daily basis. Yes, companies still do post jobs in the Help Wanted ads.
Many newspapers are affiliated with CareerBuilder—but not all of them. Some small- to mid-sized employers only advertise locally. Most local newspapers are available online. Google the name of your local paper, and you’ll find its online version pretty quickly. From there, it’ll be simple to find job listings, usually in their own separate section of the site.
Follow Local News
Keep up to date with the latest business news in the community you're interested in. The American City Business Journals site contains information on businesses in a variety of cities. Each journal is updated weekly and should be required reading for anyone interested in the pulse of the local business community, including new businesses, expansions, and cutbacks.
This will help you decide which employers to target in your search. You don’t want to apply for a job at an organization that’s going to lay people off in six months.
Local news websites can also be a useful resource.
Find Local Companies
Reading the local news will give you a sense of local companies in the area. Going for a walk or drive can also be an easy way to identify storefronts. You can also discover local companies on Chamber of Commerce websites.
Finally, you can use Superpages to search for local companies by keyword and/or location. You may find potential employers that you didn't know about,then you can visit the company websites to review job openings and career information.
Follow Employers on Social Media
When we talk about social media in the context of job searching, it’s usually to discuss the things you shouldn’t do, if you want to get hired. But social media can be of benefit to your job search: with a little careful curation, you can use it to help you get the attention of a hiring manager at your favorite local company.
Start by following your local employers on the social networks you already use, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Look for job postings, but don’t stop there: cultivate a connection with the company by participating in conversations with them, using the appropriate hashtags.
Tap Your Network
Finally, don't forget to network. It really does work! Many jobs are found by networking, since some of the best job opportunities never make it to job boards or corporate sites. To get to these secret listings, you need a friend on the inside.
Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to cultivate such relationships, thanks to those aforementioned social networks. LinkedIn, in particular, can be a great way to forge connections to local jobs.
Don't overlook your real-life connections: your former colleague, boss, roommate, etc., might just know about a job opportunity at their company that would be perfect for you.
Keep in touch online, plan regular coffee dates to maintain your relationship with that person, and be on the lookout for opportunities to help them, too. That way, they’ll think of you first when jobs open up.