There are a lot of jobs available here in the Triangle area (which includes in Durham), but you have to take advantage of the many resources available. I’ll relate my experience in job hunting here in the local area. Are you currently living in Durham or looking to relocate here? Honestly, there is a greater selection in the Raleigh area. If you are planning on commuting to Raleigh from Durham, you may want to realistically consider the travel expenses involved. There are VERY limited public transportation options available to commute to these two cities. A quick Mapquest search can tell you how far away a particular job is from your home. But if you don’t live here yet, that’ll be difficult to assess. Some areas of Raleigh are closer than others. In a nutshell, you’ll have to consider if the pay of that particular job is worth the expense to get there everyday by car.
I advise you from personal experience that it can be difficult looking for work if you live somewhere else now as some jobs may want you to come in right away for an interview and if you can’t, then call back when you come to town, which may not be feasible. Some hiring managers may give you a phone interview if you ask. Make clear to them your situation. I know some people use temp agencies which you may want to look into. There are many to choose from here and some may hire you permanently.
Before you begin searching get your resume house in order. You do not want to scrimp on a decent resume. It doesn’t matter what type of job you’re looking for, you will need a resume. Your resume is in some cases your only way to sell yourself to a prospective employer. This should be a no-brainer. Have a friend, relative, or associate write up a good resume for you. If you have to pay them, then do so. If you don’t have the funds to do so, try looking into some online or print resources for making your own. You want to definitely make sure you have a primary phone number (preferably home) as well as a cell number. Most of the time if an employer can’t reach you at one number they’ll call the other. Make sure these numbers are prominently printed on your resume. If your resume is more than one page, make sure you have your name printed on the bottom of the second page. This is just in case the two pages become separated.
I suggest you make a copy of all the pages of a particular job application to save the information for later retrieval before you turn it in to the employer. This WILL save you lots of time trying to recall that last job’s supervisor’s phone number or your 3 references’ addresses. As you fill out several applications, you’ll add to this information. Keep this information in a safe place as you’ll need to use it several times. No matter how well you think you know this information backward and forward, its still faster to just copy it down from somewhere else. Also to note, if you don’t know an address or phone number of a previous job, do a quick online search for it on http://www.yellow.com. All you need is a name, city, and state.
You will want to get your hands on a fax machine to assist in your search. Some jobs will only list a fax number as a way to apply. If you know where to look, you may be able to get one for free. I’m a member of two local online recycling groups. I cannot sing the praises of these groups enough. Freecycle.org is an international group of local Yahoogroups and you can become a member. Anything posted must be free. You can post that you are in need of a fax machine and see if there are any responses. Make it clear in your posting that the machine doesn’t need to be working in the receive mode as you’ll only be using it to send resumes. An employer will always call or get back to you by some other means. Also check the archives to see if anyone may still have one that nobody claimed. Warning: FreecycleDurhamNC is a tough group to get on and they have strict posting rules. You must read every automated email in full and respond with what they request or you WILL be rejected. You must post exactly the way they want once accepted or your message WILL be rejected. Dukeswap is another local Yahoogroup. I got my fax from a nice lady who worked at Duke. Also, check your local Craigslist.org for free faxes or maybe you can buy one for a low price. One important point to remember is that the fax machine MUST transmit clearly. It would be in your best interest to test this out. The best way to test is to get a free fax number from efax.com. This is a free fax to email service that will allow you to receive faxes in your inbox and read them on your computer. The only thing I don’t like about efax.com is you have to use the computer you downloaded the software on to open the fax. If you don’t have the software on the computer (ex. Library computer), you can’t read the fax. Don’t waste your money to pay for the unlimited monthly online faxing service. It’s much faster, easier, and cheaper to get your own machine. I got a fax from a thrift store before and had no idea that it wasn’t transmitting clearly until an employer called back. She told me that the other number wasn’t readable. I assumed that if it was unreadable, then other parts may not be readable. I threw that one out.
If you don’t have one already, you must get a professional email address strictly used for job searching. You don’t want a prospective employer to request an interview and his email is under a pile of spam in your inbox. Also you want to use your real name as the sender. John Smith @ yahoo.com sets a more professional image than Footballfreak8 @ yahoo.com. Another point to remember about a prospective employers and the internet is to make sure you don’t have anything embarrassing about yourself on Myspace or any other site like this that you wouldn’t want a hiring manager to see. Some managers have been known to search for prospective candidates online and what they find may make or break their decision to hire you.
I used the following websites in my job search often:
http://jobsearch2.jobinthebox.com/gig2/basicsearch.asp? (This link is to the job search tool. I found this tool very beneficial in that it has listings not found in other places. This link is for the main site, which has a wealth of information to assist in your job search http://www.ncjoblink.com/)
If I’m not mistaken, all of these sites will allow you to post your resume on their sites
for free which I read on one site that some employers search before
they post a job.
I liked to get the Raleigh News and Observer paper delivered to my home which costs $7.00 for 4 weeks. You can also find it at many locations in Durham including the supermarkets and vending machines. Vending machines are the cheapest way to go. It’s much quicker to scan than using their website (trianglejobs.com) as I wasn’t looking for one particular type of work. In my humble opinion, The Herald Sun of Durham is not that great a paper for their classified section or news content for that matter. I did go to the Herald Sun job listings online as they don’t have as many listings (jobsync.com).
The main focus of this article is to save you time and gas by doing most of your job searching from the internet, phone, or fax. I had limited ability to travel many places, so these resources were a big help. Don’t forget to use good old fashioned networking and responding to help wanted signs in your job search.