In addition to using online search techniques, reviewing want ads in the classified section of newspapers and specific industry publications is also helpful. A small percentage of job-seekers find employment by responding to want ads. While want ads are not the only way to find a job, looking through want ads can give you a good idea of the availability of jobs in certain industries. You may be able to find out what kind of experience, qualifications, salary and skills are needed for certain jobs. If certain jobs do not appear in the want ads, it does not necessarily mean that there are no job openings in that field.

Most new ads are published Wednesdays and Sundays, so pay attention to these days. Read the want ads cover to cover, because jobs that interest you may be listed in unexpected places. For example, want ads for drywallers might be listed under construction, painters, laborers, home builders, carpenters, etc.

When reading and responding to want ads be aware of the following:

• Some ads do not give a company name, you reply to a P.O. box, making it impossible to do any research on the company.
• Ads that promise a big paycheck with little experience required usually indicate sales positions that work on commission.
• If the contact for the ad is an employment agency, find out if they will charge you a fee. Some agencies charge the employer a fee, some charge the job-seeker a fee.
• Multiple position ads usually indicate a new or expanding company. Competition is often fierce for these positions.
• Some ads use the word “preferred” (degree preferred, two years experience preferred, etc.). This usually means you can apply if you do not have that particular skill or ability as long as you have the other qualifications.
• When sending a resume in response to a want ad make sure you meet the minimum requirements. If the ad says certification, license, degree, experience, etc. required, you might be wasting your time if you do not have those qualifications. If it says “no phone calls,” do not call.

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