Where should I look for a job?

One of the most common questions I get from students around this time of year is “Where should I look for a job?”

The question they actually are asking is “where ONLINE should I look for a job?”, and it’s the wrong question.  The vast majority of jobs for students are filled informally, without a search.

I always have extra work, and when I manage to have money + work that needs to be done, I usually tend to hire people I know–either a good past student, or someone recommended by a friend.

For full-time jobs, the question is a bit more relevant, but still, applying online doesn’t yield the results that using your network of contacts will.  If I happen to know someone involved in a search, and I send them a copy of your recommendation letter directly….yeah, that immediately moves your resume up to the top of the pile.

So, before I give you my list of places online to look at:  Let me ask, what is the ratio of time you are spending pasting your resume online to the amount of time spent chatting with your friends and professional contacts about where you want to go?

My favorite places to look for Ecological/Environmental type jobs:

Two other things to try:

  1. There are a lot of new job indexes that basically work by harvesting other websites. Indeed.com is a good example of that type of service.
  2. Don’t forget to look at local university and state websites! While the funding may be shaky long term, for those starting out in the job market, there are usually lots of opportunities.

Have I missed an important resource? Please suggest it in the comments!
[Note: I will be especially harsh on spammers for this post–if you are suggesting a link, it needs to relate specifically to finding job postings in environmental science/conservation]

Additional Career Advice: 

6 thoughts on “Where should I look for a job?

  1. EvolDir ( http://evol.mcmaster.ca/evoldir.html ) has postings for graduate students and post-docs, among other things – it connected me to my current adviser so I’m inclined to think highly of it.

    I’d also like to second the Student Conservation Association. Before I came to graduate school I spent a year working as an SCA intern for U.S. Fish & Wildlife and I think it was one of the best things I ever did.

  2. Hi Bug Girl

    I just stumbled onto this blog and I am very much impressed. I agree that online sources are excellent and will provide you with insight as to the type of jobs out there but nothing beats old fashioned contacts and hard work.

    I have used the Texas A&M Job Board in the past. It has a mix of jobs and graduate work throughout the USA. The link is:

    http://wfsc.tamu.edu/jobboard/index.htm

    Thanks for the post and I will be sure to check back often.

    Nathan
    http://wild-facts.blogspot.com/

  3. Indian Tribes can be a good place to get a first job. They often cannot pay as well so they often cannot find experienced workers to fill top jobs. One can get lots of great management experience that you couldn’t get for years in other places.

  4. Government sites and social media are a good start too. Keep in touch with your network and ask around, you could never underestimate these tools.

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