The old days of finding a job right out of school and sticking with it until retirement are certainly in the past. In these modern times, people have become more adept at locating new job opportunities. But some of the more traditional tactics have started to fade in popularity; no longer are people looking primarily at the newspaper want-ads to find their dream jobs. Job seekers are becoming more creative and utilizing new strategies in moving their careers forward.

1. Networking

It is said that the majority of job vacancies are never advertised, often referred to as the “hidden job market.” To land these jobs, seekers will need to find a way to get a foot in the door. Networking can go a long way in locating job opportunities; even if no one you know directly has knowledge of a job opening, there’s a chance they know someone who does.

Networking can be done both in person and online. You can join professional associations, attend events for graduates of your school, or aim to connect with professionals who work in your field. Various online tools also exist, such as LinkedIn, which allow you to network with other professionals and learn about possible job openings. You may also be able to meet other professionals through social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter.

2. Referrals

Referrals also come from individuals you know, however, this method may get you an invitation to apply for a position without actually searching for a new job. Some employers offer incentives to their employees for referring a successful candidate to their company – a win-win situation for everyone. You get a new job, and your contact gets a finder’s fee for attracting a top-notch employee.

3. Job Boards and Career Websites

Job boards were traditionally just that – boards posting vacancies and employment opportunities. Though some of these boards may still exist in a literal sense, many job boards have moved toward a virtual format. Often federal or state governments will provide job boards and job banks that job seekers can access. You can also use job search engines on the internet or the vast number of career-related websites that post job openings, such as Monster.com or CareerBuilder.com. These websites function in a similar way to the traditional want-ads, however, they have a much quicker turnaround time and allow you to search a much larger number of jobs over a large area.

4. Job Fairs

Job fairs are typically targeted toward specific industries, though some job or recruitment fairs are more generalized. These ads will usually come with a list of the organizations that will be present. Investigate any companies that interest you, bring a number of resumes and be ready to sell yourself. Consider any conversations…