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Classified Ads

According to Richard Nelson Bolles in What Color is Your Parachute?, only 5% of people who rely solely on newspaper ads actually find a job that way. The problem is due, in part, to the fact that classifieds represent only 20% of the available positions at any given time. And many of the jobs listed in the classifieds don't even exist; they're placed to help recruiters build up their databases.

In spite of their shortcomings, however, classified ads can be a valuable source of information about job qualifications, who's hiring, and what positions are in demand.

Here are some hints for maximizing your chances of finding a job through the classifieds:

  • Apply only for jobs for which you qualify.

  • Always include a cover letter detailing what makes you a perfect fit for the position.

  • Follow up on your submission.

  • Pursue the ad, especially if it disappears and then reappears in the paper. This could indicate that the job has reopened.

Newspaper classifieds can help you find a job in another area of the country. Many newspapers now have online versions of their content. And services such as CareerPath consolidate classifieds from leading papers around the country.

Chances are you won't find a job through the classifieds, but they're a useful tool that you shouldn't overlook when conducting a job search.


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