Finding a job can be difficult in this current economic state but here are some tips to help get you started. There are many different ways to find jobs available in your own city. Some of the resources include: the internet, newspapers, in-store hiring signs, and your personal network – including friends and family.


Below are the top 3 most used job search websites, covering roughly 93% of the open job postings in the country. Talk to your educational workshop facilitator and other professionals about additional job searching websites and publications that are tailored to your specific career field.


Additionally there are great niche sites you can investigate:

This is a specialized job site for social work, counseling, psychology, mental health, case management, volunteer management, substance abuse treatment, domestic violence, community development, youth development, child welfare, developmental disabilities and all other areas of social services. You can post your resumé, search for available jobs, and gather information about various professions in social service.

Here you can find volunteer opportunities, nonprofit jobs, internships, and information about organizations working to change the world. Search thousands of job openings with the world’s largest job search engine for nonprofit, government, and social enterprise jobs. To help you with your job search, Idealist hosts job openings across the spectrum, from entry-level to executive, and across nearly every profession. You may create a profile and receive daily email alerts with listings that interest you and gain access to resources to help you get the job of your dreams. 

Built on the foundation of increasing workplace transparency, Glassdoor offers millions of the latest job listings, combined with a growing database of company reviews, CEO approval ratings, salary reports, interview reviews and questions, benefits reviews, office photos and more.


You can find a computer with Internet access at your local library. If you have access to a laptop you can take it to a local coffee shop, such as Starbucks or Coffee Bean and use their free wireless Internet.

Activity: Create an account using a professional email address and sign on to all five of these websites to be more familiar with Internet job searches.

If you do not have a professional email address already, you should set one up as soon as possible.  One way of creating a professional email is by using the first letter of your name and then your last name, such as: ARodriguez or MLiang8. If you feel comfortable, you can use your whole name: Laurensmith457.  

You want your email address to be as simple as possible, this way your potential employer can easily remember it and use it.  

Also, do not forget to check your email at least once a day after you create the account! 

Examples of professional email addresses: 

Examples of unprofessional email addresses: 

Electronic Professionalism and Privacy

Voicemails: Potential employers will also try to contact you through the phone number you provided. Unless you are by your phone and able to answer it at any hour of the day your potential employer will be directed to your voicemail. It’s important that your voicemail is set up to inform callers that they reached the correct person and that you will be returning their call. If you choose to personally set up your voicemail message make sure your voice is clear and your message is brief without background noise or music. Remember, your voicemail message may be one of the first impressions you make with a potential employer.

Activity: Test each other out. Call each other’s phone number and listen to their voicemail message. Critique the volume, tone, clarity and content of each other’s voicemail message.  Imagine yourself as the employer, what kind of impression will the person’s voicemail message make? If needed help each other create a more professional voicemail message for callers.

Social Media: Employers are doing everything they can to make sure they are meeting with applicants who would be the best fit for the job. Many times this includes looking up job applicants online. By searching your name online they can easily find any social media profiles (i.e. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.) you have published. You want to make sure your online presence is just as professional as everything else we’ve discussed.

Activity: Do a web search of your own (or each other’s) names to see what comes up. Be constructive as you provide suggestions or feedback on how to make each other’s social media presence professional.

Hard Copy Job Applications 

Once you find a place that is looking to hire, ask them about their application process and get started as soon as possible. Some places will ask you to fill out an application on a physical piece of paper and some want you to apply on their website. 

First impressions

First impressions are very important and are lasting, so be sure your first impression is a good one. Remember to wear business casual attire (ironed pants or a knee length skirt and a top with a high neckline and sleeves) when visiting potential jobs; managers might be on-site or in the building when you are applying for a job.

If you are required to fill out an application on a physical piece of paper, make sure to get at least one extra copy from the company or make your own copy for your records and in case you make a mistake. Copy machines are available for a low fee at your local library or at stores such as Staples, Office Depot, FedEx, or Kinkos.

Filling out the Application

Applications vary depending on the job. However, a majority of applications ask for your contact information, education, and your previous work experience. As you progress professionally, your resume becomes an ongoing list of significant dates in your life. Make note of the name of the manager you worked with and don’t forget to establish contacts with your peers. These contacts seed your network, can provide future recommendations for you and help you in whatever career path you choose. The best hires come from personal referrals and recruiters know it!!!

When filling out your application, it’s best to type out your responses using a computer. However, if you need to fill it out by hand, make sure you use black ink and clearly print out your responses.   

If possible, make sure to get someone else to review your application before you return it to the employer. Encourage the person reviewing your application to identify any errors they may find.  If corrections need to be made, rewrite your response on a new copy. It’s best if your application is free of scratched out information or whiteout. On the following two pages is an example of an employee application. Practice filling out this application to become more familiar with the application process.

Ethics and Integrity

Most applications will ask if you have ever been convicted of a crime, misdemeanor and/or felony in the past. If you have, you need to check yes. Following this question, there is usually a space to explain the situation as to why you were convicted. In ethics, it is better to admit your mistakes and take it as a lesson learned rather than lying about it or denying it. Trust and honesty are characteristics employers look for in their employees. Many employers and companies will do background checks, you do not want to be caught lying.  Ethics and integrity are major issues for employers when deciding whom to hire. Companies do background checks to make sure that you will be a positive addition to their work environment.

Activity: Fill out the sample application. Filling this out now will make filling out future applications so much easier because you can just copy the information from this application to future applications. So keep this completed application in a safe spot for future use.