fake-jobs.jpgMost of the job seekers I talk to spend a lot of time on the major job sites like Monster and Careerbuilder, but I’m here to tell you not to disregard Craigslist.com.

In this tough economy, more and more business owners and hiring managers are telling me they’re turning to Craigslist these days to post job openings because it costs a fraction of what the big job boards charge.

That said, the cheaper price may also be tempting for scammers, so you should keep that in mind when you find a job that sounds right for you. But that goes for the big job boards as well. Scammers are lurking everywhere they days and you have to be diligent in making sure the firms you apply to are real; and don’t give out personal information, please!

There’s a great story in the Wall Street Journal this morning titled, “It Isn’t Always a Job Behind an Online Job Posting“:

If you’re launching an online job hunt for the first time in a while; take caution. What may look like an ad for employment may lead to something entirely different, like a hard sell for career services or job-training manuals. Or worse, it might be a plan by identity thieves to get you to share sensitive personal information via “phishing” expeditions. Some of the job postings — sometimes for positions long filled — also could be from recruiting agencies looking to collect résumés.

I know this news can be disheartening. But it proves you shouldn’t just depend on sending your resume out into cyber space as your only job-hunting plan of action.

The Internet is great, but it’s not all that.

Here’s a story I wrote a while back on ways to land a job that includes a melange of tactics:

1. Open the phone book. There’s a great profile in the Wall Street about Joyce King Thomas, a top executive at a top advertising firm. She actually was out of work for five months early on in her career and got so desperate that she opened up the phone book and started calling every ad company in the book, starting with “A”. She ended up landing a job with a small company that started with “P”.

2. Throw a party. Recently, I wrote a story about landing an interview and one of the experts offered a great piece of advice that was right on and fun. Invite 20 or 30 people, your friends and friends of friends, and network your heart out. I know, you don’t have a gig so you don’t have lots of money. But you could make the party potluck, or just order pizza. Maybe you know lots of people looking to find work or switch jobs; they’ll all be willing to make the networking celebration work.

3. Cyber network. You’ve all heard it before — get the heck on these networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn if you haven’t already. Put up a glowing profile of yourself, and start inviting everyone you know to join your network. Before you know it you’ll have a growing group of contacts. But you just can’t wait for job offers to pour in. Start sifting through the people, people you are connected to and start asking the people you know if they could connect you with the people you want to know. Even though your friends want to help, sometimes they don’t realize how their expanding networks can fit into your career plan. (I’m updating this to include Twitter. Get on there ASAP and follow my at www.twitter.com/careerdiva. Check out the blog post I wrote on Twitter recently.)

4. Cold call. Pick up that old-fashioned tool called the telephone and call the companies where you want to work. First do a bit of homework and find out who the hiring manager for a particular job is. This will take some research. If you know a certain position is open you can find out which department that position is in and then call the head of that department. I know, this is scary. The person may hang up on you. (Then who would want to work for such a jerk anyway.) But they may be nice, tell you a bit about the firm, and promise to take a look at your resume when it comes over their desk.

5. Start a blog! Are you an expert in a certain area? Have you worked in an industry for years and have some funny stories to tell? Start a simple blog. It’s free. There is nothing better than being able to tell a hiring manager, or human resource person, you have a blog they can check out to learn more about you. But please, try not to be too personal in these professional, career-enhancing blogs. Just show off your knowledge and your humor.

Don’t just sit there and let the job-hunting monster eat you.

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