Guide to an Effective Job Search
A successful job search takes preparation and patience. If you’ve recently lost your job or are re-entering the job market after many years you may have many concerns and questions. Where do I start? How do I cover a gap on my resume? Do I have to disclose my MS during an interview?
The following resources will help to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about job searching and returning to work as well as provide you with websites where you can browse online job listings, use job-search data tools, get tips to improve your resume, and discover the secrets of job-winning interviews.
To start you need to be clear on your job goal. If you are not sure of what you want to do or what you can do, check out our career changer’s Web page which will walk you through the process of determining what job might be best for you.
Once you have established your job goal, you will need to craft a resume that will capture the attention of recruiters. An effective resume can greatly improve your chances of landing a job. There are hundreds of websites available to assist with writing a great resume however, the following are the most comprehensive:
44 Resume Writing Tips
Where Does Your Resume Go When You Apply Online
Prepare Your Resume for Email and Online Posting
Should You Disclose Your Disability on a Resume?
Avoiding the Minefields When Your Resume has Employment Gaps
The Job Search
Top Websites and Resources
The next step is the job search. Where do you go to find jobs that are a good fit for you? What is the best job search method? There is no “one way” to do a job search. The best way is actually to utilize all resources available to you.
Networking and Social Media: The most common way people find out about and obtain new positions is through networking. Your network can be made up of previous coworkers, friends and family who can connect you with others who might be able to help you in your job search. Utilize the people in your network for advice, information, and support. Social media is a form of networking and a great way to connect with many people in your field.
Networking Your Way to a New Career
Job Networking Tips
How to Use Social Media in Your Job Search
10 Ways to Use Social Media in Your Job Search
Government Programs and Services for Individuals with Disabilities: There are various government resources available to you as a person living with a disability. These resources can help with evaluations, training and job placement.
Adult Career and Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR) offers access to a full range of employment services for individuals with a disability. Services include assistance with accommodations, evaluation, training and placement.
Federal Employment of People with Disabilities
As a person with a disability you have the right to apply for a federal job under Schedule A which allows qualified candidates who meet the Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) guidelines to be hired non-competitively.
ABC's of Schedule A provides useful information on how to apply to a federal job under schedule A.
NY State 55 B Program is a NY State program to hire individuals with disabilities. No initial written or oral examinations are required for appointment. You must however, submit a formal application and a medical evaluation may be necessary for program certification.
NY City 55 A Program Section 55-a of the New York State Civil Service Law permits municipalities to employ persons, who have been certified as physically or mentally disabled, in civil service positions on a non-competitive basis.
A qualified person with a disability who is appointed to the 55-a Program is not required to take a written or oral examination. Persons eligible under this program are not placed on a civil service list. Eligible persons will be evaluated on the basis of their qualifications and interviews. Eligibility for the 55-a Program is determined based on an official certification that an individual is physically or mentally disabled and qualified to perform the duties of the job.
Additional Government Resources
Career One Stop
This website, sponsored by The US Department of Labor is a good place to start if you are looking for a job. It guides you through the things you need to do to create a successful job search plan and has valuable links to tools to help you in the process.
FirstGov - Index of Government Agencies
FirstGov.gov provides an index of every United States government agency. Use FirstGov to find agencies you may be interested in working for and then go to the career or employment section.
USAJOBS - United States Government Jobs
USAJOBS is the primary job search site for the federal government. It allows you to search for thousands of Federal jobs in the USAJOBS database. It also provides additional information on agencies and the federal job search process
List Of Selective Placement Coordinators
Most Federal agencies have a Selective Placement Program Coordinator, a Special Emphasis Manager (SEM) for Employment of Adults with Disabilities, or equivalent, who helps to recruit, hire and accommodate people with disabilities at that agency.
This directory lists the coordinator(s) identified by their agency. Most of whom are primarily located at their agency headquarters. Each agency is responsible for monitoring the activities of its designated Selective Placement Coordinators and also for notifying the Office of Personnel Management when a new coordinator is selected.
Additional Job Search Websites
Meta Job Search Engines for Job-Seekers
This site provides listings of Meta-Job search engines which are not job boards, but rather-through the use of technology- job-posting aggregators that job-seekers can use to search multiple job sites, in the U.S. and around the world.
The Career Index
The Career Index is the most comprehensive career information system available in America today and easy to use. It includes more than 6 million current job openings, updated in real-time, the latest employment projections available, the latest state and local salary data, education and experience requirements, more than 200,000 related training programs linked to occupations and much more.
This website has tools to help you create your own career builder profile, find recently posted jobs, various occupations, post resume, job recommendations and much more.
Idealist - Non-Profit Organizations Directory & Jobs
Idealist provides a listing of jobs, volunteer opportunities and internships with over 40,000 non-profit organizations.
Bureau of Labor Statistics
The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor is the principal Federal agency responsible for measuring labor market activity, working conditions, and price changes in the economy. Its mission is to collect, analyze, and disseminate essential economic information to support public and private decision-making. This site can provide useful information for use in your job search.
Glassdoor is a free jobs and career community that offers an inside look at jobs and companies. View anonymous salaries, company reviews, interview questions, and more, all posted by employees, job seekers, and sometimes the companies themselves.
Online Job Posting Boards for People with Disabilities
One method for finding a job is by posting your resume on an online job board. This allows numerous employers to view your resume at once. The following websites have online job boards where you can post your resume to be viewed by hundreds of potential employers interested in hiring or placing a qualified individual with a disability.
- Ability Jobs
- disABLED Person
- Disaboom Jobs
- Getting Hired
- Hire Disability Solutions
- One More Way
- USA Jobs
- Equal Opportunity Publications
- Bender Consulting
- The Sierra Group
Social Media Job Search Networking Groups
Once you have secured an interview you need to be prepared. Going on an interview can be daunting, particularly in this economy and more so if it has been awhile since your last interview.
One of the main reasons job seekers are rejected is because they perform poorly in their job interview. Companies want to hire people who stand out and have a proven track record of accomplishments. If you can effectively convey this in an interview, employers will be less concerned about any stretch of unemployment.
Being prepared should lead to greater confidence, a key component in interview success. The following websites offer valuable information on interview do’s and don’ts to help you ace that next interview.
Talking About Your Disability in a Job Interview
One of the key concerns for individuals living with MS is determining if they need to disclose their disability during an interview and if so, how to talk about it. This article discusses the pros and cons of disclosure, when you may need to disclose as well as what to say if you do.
Monster Interview Tools
The advice section of Monster.com includes interview pointers from an HR specialist and other interview preparation tips.
Ace the Interview
This website is intended to be a useful resource for anyone who is new to the interviewing process, as well as those who just need a refresher before entering the arena once again.
The ABCs of Interviewing
This article provides A to Z advice from professional recruiters.
More ABCs of Interviewing
This is another useful article which provides some important pointers for interview success.
It’s easy to become discouraged throughout the job search process. The following tips on how to remain positive, active and healthy should help you to stay motivated and focused.
- Remaining Positive Throughout Job Search
- Staying Physically Active During Unemployment
- Staying Mentally Active During Unemployment
Volunteering While Unemployed
There are many reasons to volunteer during unemployment. It can help keep your skills sharp, keep something current on your resume, and if you have not worked in some time provide you with a current reference. It also helps you to stay productive and motivated and gives you additional networking resources.
Eight Reasons to Volunteer During Unemployment