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Now Hiring: How to use Classified Ads in the Digital Era.

Responding to classified ads (newspaper job postings) is a time-honored method of looking for work.

Although this strategy has been eclipsed by more sophisticated search methods and while classifieds are now more often accessed via newspapers’ online sites than in their printed versions, they are still the vehicle of success for 10% to 15% of all job seekers. Classified ads are easily accessed, particularly with the presence of newspapers on line. Some job seekers are better suited than others to using the classifieds. Here are several categories of jobs more likely than average to be filled by people thumbing through the newspaper:

  • “Local” jobs that are usually filled by people who live within ten miles. An example is the 100 to 200 employee production facility just outside the town.

  • Jobs with a relatively high turnover such as retail and car sales and truck/company vehicle driving.

  • Administrative positions

  • Computer programming jobs

  • Health aids, for example in hospitals and nursing facilities

If you decide to use the printed classified ads here are some suggestions to help you gain the most from your efforts. Most of these tips apply equally to the online classifieds.

  • Pay close attention to local papers, especially the ones that come out once a week, and to the Sunday edition of daily regional papers. For long distance seekers, most of these can be found online

  • No matter what the job, include a cover letter that notes your interest in the position and the relevant qualifications you possess.

  • Take into account the qualifications listed for a position but don’t count yourself out of the running just because you are missing one or two of them. Many employers stipulate qualifications that are designed principally to weed out manifestly unqualified candidates. If you possess the majority of qualifications you still may have a chance.

  • Some classifieds ask applicants to supply their desired salary. Unless you know what a position pays give a salary range such as $35,000 to $42, 000 or 7 to 10 dollars an hour.

Always follow-up with a call to make sure your resume or application arrived and to reiterate your interest in the position. This phone call will help distinguish you from the 80 or so people who may have applied. Consistent follow-up takes advantage of the basic principle that organizations want to employ people who want to work there. Given two people with identical qualifications an organization will hire the person who is the most interested in the position being filled and the company filling it. Follow any instructions contained in the ad. If it says “No calls please.” then don’t call.

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