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An image of a road to the horizon with text career


Searching for a new job requires patience, deliberation and self-discipline and if unemployed, probably takes on a level of urgency. The search should be based on career goals then followed by sufficient research of target companies to allow you to be in control. Keeping in mind that networking (presented as a separate topic) is the largest source of job leads, you will have to check newspapers, job search sites and company web sites to understand potential job leads.

Skill Definition:

  • I know and can use all available resources to search for jobs.

Key Learning Points:

  • Job searching requires a thoughtful, methodical approach.
  • Most jobs are not published, they have to be discovered through research.

Learning Path:

  • Know your career path and career objectives.
  • Know your boundaries, e.g. work you won’t take and location.
  • Identify target industries and companies. Research these companies’ web sites and check for employment postings.
  • Determine which of the job search methods (below) you will pursue.
  • Set personal goals on identifying companies or positions to apply to.

Deeper Topics:

  • Job Search Methods:
    • Develop personal contacts such as friends, previous employers or professional associations.
    • Go to a job fair.
    • Leverage school career planning and placement offices.
    • Look on company web sites for open jobs.
    • Read newspaper classified ads.
    • Keep your eyes open for “hiring” signs.
    • Use internet resources (see below). Since it’s easy, it’s tempting to make this the “centerpiece” of the search but it usually isn’t enough as most jobs come through networking.
    • Use at state and federal employment service offices or community agencies.
    • Use a private or public employment agency or recruiter. Consider a temp agency.
    • Get an internship.
  • Job Search Web Sites: Job search sites allow you to check the major job sites, company sites, associations and other online job sites by keyword and location.
  • Keywords: If you’re looking for a certain type of position, like a summer, temporary, or part-time job, you can use related keywords to help narrow your search and generate job listings that meet that criteria..
    • Job keywords. Use terms (like graphic designer or marketing assistant, for example) that closely match the type of job you are seeking to generate a list of relevant jobs.
    • Location keywords. Enter the specific location (city, state and/or country) where you want to work to get a list of jobs in that city.
    • Company keywords. Use the company name as keyword when searching job sites. Also, search Google using the company name as a keyword to find the company web site.
  • Job Search Planning:
    • Prepare yourself mentally…job searching and applying is a full-time job.
    • Learn about job market trends.
    • Set up a job search headquarters. Do you have the needed tools such as computer, files, and templates?
    • Prepare a weekly and daily job search schedule and plan with goals.
    • Follow-up on every lead immediately.
  • Recruiters, Search Firms and Employment Agencies. Click here for info on About.com

Exercises for Older Teens and Adults:

  • None at this time.

Exercises for Younger Teens (13-16):

  • Not applicable.

Questions to Encourage Critical Thinking:

  • What search sources do you think will be most useful for your job search? Why?
  • Do you have an “accountability partner” to provide encouragement and feedback? Who could serve that role?

Tools and Templates:

Word Definition:

  • Internship. Any official or formal program to provide practical experience for beginners in an occupation or profession. Source: Dictionary.com.

Web Sites/Short Stories/Essays:


  • Need recommendations.



  • “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
  • “People who are unable to motivate themselves must be content with mediocrity, no matter how impressive their other talents.” – Andrew Carnegie

One-Point Lesson:

  • None at this time.

Related Skills:

Summary 2-page Lesson Examples, coming soon:

  • Job and Career – Search 1: Web Sites and Newspapers (handout).
  • Job and Career – Search 1: Web Sites and Newspapers (with instructor notes).