Millions of Americans nationwide found themselves unexpectedly job hunting this year. If you are back at what feels like square one, searching for a new job, you are not alone, and we have recommendations for places to look for jobs.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, countless companies were forced to make tough decisions regarding their respective work forces. Some businesses closed their doors permanently, issuing mass layoffs. Others had to resort to a skeleton crew to make it through the year, thus making cuts as needed. In short, too many Americans found themselves temporarily or permanently unemployed and back on the job hunt.

I spent five months unemployed after my company went through layoffs. It was grueling. I sent out endless copies of my resume, filled out countless applications, and directly emailed so many hiring managers to advertise my interest and availability.

I often didn’t hear back in a logical manner, the silence made sense. Companies that actually were hiring during the pandemic were probably getting flooded with resumes. Some businesses even had open positions that they later had to take down, due to internal hiring freezes, budget cuts, and so on. I imagine any applications in their piles were likely pushed aside as COVID-19 impacted our global economy.

But emotionally, the process took its toll on me. I spent months stuck home, worrying about what I would do when my unemployment aid came to an inevitable end, and nervous that I would have to completely start over in my profession. It sadly seemed my years of experience, beefy portfolio, and charming interview skills weren’t going to be my anywhere.

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Then, I got the interview I had so desperately been waiting for. And soon after, the call that completely changed my spirits and got my career back on track. That job offer meant everything to me, and I am living proof that you absolutely can actually find work in the midst of pandemic and struggling economy. There are companies out there searching for the perfect candidate, like you, ready and eager to make an offer.

To get you back on your feet and in the right mindset, hear me out. You have to do the work. Apply for jobs, network, email hiring managers and email them again if you don’t hear back. Be professional, but aggressive in your search. It helps to know places to look for jobs so you can spend more time on applications and less time searching for roles. 

4 Places To Look For Jobs

1. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is my preferred resource that is entirely dedicated to professionals. If you don’t have an account, you’re definitely missing out and you should sign up right away – it’s FREE! Some of my favorite features on the LinkedIn platform include the ability to search for jobs by title, skills, company, zip code, city, and/or state.

Moreover, LinkedIn has a feature where you can add #opentowork on your account to easily demonstrate to recruiters and employers that you are, in fact, open to work. Display the hashtag as a banner on your profile picture and add the hashtag to your account so your profile shows up as open to work. It’s a great way to get noticed on LinkedIn!

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2. Indeed

Indeed has been my go-to platform to search for jobs over the years. It’s another fantastic free resource to help you find your next job opportunity. For starters, I recommend you download the Indeed app on your smartphone.

It can remember your past work searches and sends you reminders of job titles you’ve looked at in particular zip codes. In my experience, Indeed also has the most recent job postings. Sometimes the listings on LinkedIn get a little stale (they usually say something to the effect of 1 month ago or 30 days ago) so you know that the listing is a bit dated.

Indeed, on the other hand, has listings from as early as an hour or so from the time a job gets posted. You can filter through recent job openings and be among the first applicants in the pool.

3. Your professional network

Your professional network is one of the best places to look for work. Think about it: your former colleagues know your work ethic best. They know if you’re reliable, how you handle stress, if you submit your work in a timely fashion, and how much thought and care you put into your job.

Networking is an incredibly important skill in life and it has the potential to lead to some amazing opportunities. Truthfully, that’s how I got my latest opportunity. A former colleague saw the job posting, texted it to me, and encouraged me to apply. She and two other of my past colleagues were references for me and spoke highly of their experiences working with me.

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My professional network helped me land the job, and for that I’m super grateful. Tap into your own professional network to see what opportunities might be waiting for you to explore. Sometimes getting the right job comes down to who you know and then that person can connect you with an opportunity.

4. Direct web search

The final way I recommend you try to find your next job opportunity would be via direct web search. If you have companies in mind that you’d love to work for, look them up online directly. Most companies have a careers page of some sort where they advertise their job openings.

I’ve had a lot of luck in the past applying for jobs this way. Some of my favorite companies had job openings posted on their own sites that weren’t on job board sites. It was super beneficial to take the time to search these companies directly, find the job openings relevant to my skill set, and apply.

If you have a company, or many companies, that you dream of working for someday, take the time to search them online directly. Don’t wait for openings to hopefully pop up on Indeed. Take the initiative and see where it gets you!

Keep your chin up and get going. There are many places to look for jobs and it can easily become overwhelming. The only way to make your next career move is to get going and apply. The GenTwenty team believes in you!