Financial Literacy - Careers
8 great ways to land a job

3. Career consultants

Career consultants may not get you a job per se, but they can be effective in helping job-seekers brand themselves, a trend that is becoming more important in an economic climate where competition for jobs is intense.

Career branding is a way to market yourself much like companies market their products.

You are selling yourself as a valuable commodity to employers.

Embarking on a job search without a sense of your personal brand is akin to going on a road trip with no destination in mind, O'Donnell says.

Career consultants can be effective when job-seekers are looking for higher paying jobs. Fees can range from $99 for basic resume services to $2,000 for extensive coaching, says O'Donnell.

4. Recruiters, private employment agencies

Recruiters, sometimes known as headhunters, are hired by companies and organizations to fill open positions. Many times they are hired to fill executive positions, and they are always paid by their clients, not the job-seeker.

Executive headhunters can be effective because the incentive to get a person placed is high. Fees typically represent a percentage of the job-seeker's salary.

Private agencies such as Manpower, Kelly and Olsten provide another avenue toward employment. Also funded by employers, they generally supply temporary workers to employers for prescribed periods of time. The temporary agency gets paid an hourly fee, which is usually much higher than the pay temp workers get from the agency.

They are worth checking out, especially those that specialize in your field of interest. The arrangement gives both employer and employee a chance to get acquainted before any commitments are made. Oftentimes temporary workers will be offered permanent employment.

5. Internships

Internships can be great ways for students to gain real world experience in their area of study.

Some interns are paid a salary and the internships often lead to full-time employment upon graduation.

In 2008, almost 70 percent of college interns received employment offers from their internship hosts, according to a survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

"I've seen strong results with internships," says Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter, a certified master resume writer and a career consultant who heads Career Trend in Kansas City, Mo.

"I value them highly because they give you great experience and opportunity, so interns should do their best to be a resource for the company."

The downside? Many internships are unpaid, which can be a financial burden to students who rely on summer work to make ends meet.

Students contemplating an internship should not be afraid to ask specific questions about work schedules, duties, pay and performance reviews, much like any job-seeker would do.

6. Job fairs

Job fairs have gained a lot of visibility lately.

In healthier economies, they typically attract hundreds of job-seekers but lately the numbers have escalated to thousands.

Still, job fairs should be part of a multipronged approach to meet employers in person and possibly find jobs. However, they may not be as effective if you are looking for something other than entry-level work.


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