NC State Extension Publications


There is no single method that will guarantee you will find the job you want. The best way to go about finding a job is to incorporate every resource available to you and organize these resources so that you cover the greatest portion of the job market. This process usually begins with networking and eventually could include resumes and cover letters, letter writing, telephone calls, Internet searches, “help wanted” ads, employment agencies, temporary employment services and job applications. You should keep a record of your search to help you stay organized.


Skip to Networking

Networking is one of the most effective forms of job marketing. It accounts for the majority of jobs filled in the United States every year. We all know people or belong to various groups that can help us in our job search. The connections we have with friends, former and current co-workers, and others we know through church or civic groups are important in the job seeking process. Each of these is a potential source of employment information because they may know of job openings. Let those in your network know that you are looking for employment.

Help Wanted Ads and Internet Searches

Skip to Help Wanted Ads and Internet Searches

Many job seekers begin their search in the classified or “help wanted” section of their newspaper. The Sunday paper generally contains the most listings. These ads can give you a good idea of the kinds of jobs that are available in your area and possibly the pay range.

In recent years, the use of the Internet for job searching has become more popular. Employment websites usually include opportunities to post your resume online, as well as job vacancy listings by employers. If you put information online, do not include information such as your driver’s license number or your social security number. In this day of increasing identify theft, it’s best to keep this kind of information protected. While you may be able to find job openings on the Internet, you also can find other resources for your job search. You can make contacts through online chat sessions, bulletin boards, career counseling and through searches of promising companies.

Employment Agencies

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Many companies use employment agencies to assist them in filling their job vacancies. These agencies usually represent many companies, therefore they expose you to more job openings. They also can keep your application on file, which means you don’t have to fill out dozens of applications for the many openings that are available. Most employment agencies are free to the job seeker, as the employer generally pays their fees. However, some may require an applicant fee either due before services are rendered or as a portion of the first couple of months’ salary if employment is secured.

Employment agencies also have counselors who can give you personal assistance with your resume and cover latter. These counselors usually work on a commission basis and are paid by the number of positions they fill, so be cautious about being talked into a position that doesn’t suit you.

If you are asked to sign a contract, be certain to read and understand it thoroughly.

If you sign a contract, it becomes legally binding. Read the entire contract, including the small print. If you don’t understand or agree with every word, do not sign it.

In addition to providing employment agencies or services, the state has its own employment agency, the Division of Employment Security.

Temporary Employment Agencies

Skip to Temporary Employment Agencies

Temporary agencies provide services to employers such as screening, background checks, training and preparing employees for different work environments. In many instances, a temporary job will lead to a permanent one. If you work with a company as a temporary employee and show the supervisor that you are a capable and professional worker, they may consider hiring you when a permanent position becomes available.

Temporary agencies assist you by offering a variety of work environments that can help you expand your network. They also allow you to try different companies to see if they are suitable for you.

If you work with an employment agency for temporary services, you become an employee of the agency, not the company you are working for. This means there is no up-front fee for a temporary job. It also means that the company may choose to employ someone else when the job opening becomes permanent. Look at these kinds of employment opportunities to learn more about a specific job, gain experience while searching for a permanent job or to supplement your income while looking for a permanent job.


This publication was adapted from: Marketing Yourself and Job-Seeking Strategies from the JobStart Series developed by Elizabeth B. Bolton, Professor, Community Development, Department of Family, Youth and Community Services, University of Florida.

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Publication date: March 1, 2009

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