The web has so much job and career search information that it is almost impossible to sift through. At the same time, many seekers have support from friends, career counselors, university support offices, and more. With all of these sources it is no wonder that some resources that are true gems are often missed or underutilized. Here, I hope to present you with a few lesser-known job and career resources.
Your Public Library
Most public libraries have a career book section that is generally curated pretty well – although sometimes depending on the library it can be outdated. Along with that, most public libraries provide access to online databases that are great for the job search – and in some cases you can access them from the comfort of your own home just using your library card. With my Chicago Public Library card, I am able to log into their website from my home to:
- Rent (for free) valuable and up to date ebooks related to job search and my career. I highly recommend “The 2-Hour Job Search” from a job search strategy standpoint.
- Read current issues of career relevant periodicals like Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and more that normally require a subscription.
- Log into ABI/Inform to read the latest subscription based articles about companies of interest, read business cases, review industry trends/market research/data reports, or to see if a CEO of a target organization has been in the news recently.
- Log into Hoover’s Company Profiles to easily see great data on over 40,000 public and private companies.
- Gain access to Morningstar for equity research reports.
- Log into ReferenceUSA for a listing of 24 million U.S. business and to create an advanced search based on a wide range of criteria to strategically build a target list of companies to go after in your job search.
- Log into Standard & Poor’s NetAdvantage to gain access to all sorts of industry reports as well as other gems like glossary of key industry terms if you are looking to break into a new industry and want to become familiar with the lingo.
Your local college/university or alma mater
Students often do not take full advantage of all that their Career Services, faculty, college library, and other support services available to them. If you are a student, make sure to do a full inventory of all that is available. Meet with a career advisor. Research to find out what else may be helpful. Build good relationships with trusted faculty to help advice you along your career.
For alumni, many times you still have some access to school resources. While it varies dramatically by school, there is typically some sort of career counseling support either through alumni relations or the career services department. You also typically have access (sometimes only onsite with an alumni ID card) to the university libraries to get even better research resources than those at your public library. Alumni chapters local to you can also have resources. Do an inventory to see what is available. If you are unsure, I would recommend first meeting with someone in alumni relations dedicated to alumni support (vs. fundraising) to have a guide through the process.
Your state and local government resources
States and cities want their people working. All states have some sort of support around this. In Illinois, there is the Illinois Department of Employment Security. While they are also the office that supports unemployment insurance, they also offer free workshops and job fairs. I have attended job fairs through the City of Chicago as an employer in the past (which is separate from IDES but they are linked).
Long story short, be a small fish in a big pond through a traditional job search, but also be a big fish in a small pond by tapping into the lesser known and lesser used resources. While this is just the tip of the iceberg, hopefully this will help you get a little closer to where you want to be.