National Center for Learning Disabilities

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Where to Look for a Job

Where to Find a Job - Adults with LDIt used to be that job seekers would simply open their local newspaper, search for openings in the Help Wanted section, and mail out a slew of resumés and cover letters to potential employers. But that approach is rarely effective these days. The vast majority of job listings can now be found only online, and most employers encourage, or even require, applicants to send their resumés and cover letters electronically. (If you don’t own a computer, you will likely find one that you can use at your public library.) But even before you start your online search, consider this: many jobs are filled without ever being listed. Instead, they are given to qualified friends or family members who learn of the opening through word of mouth. So take the advice of many career counselors and examine your personal network for potential leads.

Here are some useful steps you might consider taking:

  1. Let people know you are looking for a job, and ask them to tell you if they hear of anything suitable.
  2. Join the alumni networks for your high school or college, and take advantage of any career placement services these schools may have.
  3. Join LinkedIn, an online community that will connect you with friends, alumni, and professional acquaintances. LinkedIn also has extensive job listings.
  4. Schedule an informational interview with an acquaintance who works in your field or desired field. Such informal interviews are good ways not only to find out more about a company or career but also to make a positive impression on someone who may be in a hiring position later on down the road.

In general, you will most likely find that many people who share something with you (a friend, an alma mater) are eager to help you find a job you love. Seek them out.

In some industries, especially retail and the restaurant business, it is accepted practice to simply show up at an establishment and ask to speak with the manager to express your interest in a job. This is especially beneficial if you feel you come across as a stronger candidate in person than on paper. Just be sure to dress appropriately, arrive on a day or at a time of day that isn’t busy, and bring a copy of your resumé with you.

But in a tight job market, you will likely have to work several angles at once, and in most cases that will mean scouring online job sites and applying for openings you find there. Among the
most popular employment sites are Indeed.com, SimplyHired.com, CareerBuilder.com, Monster.com, and Craigslist.org. There are also sites that focus on certain fields. If you are interested in the nonprofit sector, visit Idealist.org. Dice.com is an information-packed source for engineering and technology professionals. For opportunities in writing, editing, and other creative fields, check out Mediabistro.com.

Finally, a number of websites are set up specifically to help people with disabilities find employment. You’ll find these sites included in the article, Resource List for Adults with LD in the Workplace.

Tags: college-adult