3 Creative Ways to Uncover Local Job Openings

local jobs for people

If you haven’t noticed, the job classified section in your local newspaper is shrinking. Hiring companies are looking for better, cost effective ways of advertising job openings. Never assume a lack of open jobs in your local paper means there are no jobs. Every company has a different way “of getting the word out.”

Before I share a few creative ways to uncover hidden jobs in your area, I want you to know nothing should take the place of networking. Job seekers who fully utilize networking cut their job search time in half over those who don’t. When you combine networking with the resources I am about to share with you, you can begin to make some real headway with your job search. Below are just a few of my favorite ways to uncover local job listings.

1. Keep a pulse on the local job market with WatchThatPage.com.

When you are first starting out in your job search, you should always begin by building a large list of companies in your area. Many job seekers never take the time to do this and it hampers their ability to discover new jobs.

Here are a few ways of how you can build a large list of companies in your area. Fully utilize the Wikipedia database. Wikipedia does an awesome job of building long lists of companies for most metro areas in the United States. Go to the home page of Wikipedia and search “List of companies” and “your city.” It is a great way to get your list started.

Another fantastic way of building a large list of companies is by purchasing the Book of Lists. This is a yearly publication but out by the Business Journal. Each book represents a single metro area. Inside is an index of companies in your area by industry, size, and fastest growth.

After you have built a nice listing of local companies in your area, you need to visit their web page one at a time. I realize this is a bit of work up front, but if you stay with me I will show you how to automate this process.

Once you get to the company’s website, see if they have a career section that lists job openings. I have several companies in my area that post open positions on their company job board exclusively.

Open a free account on WatchThatPage.com. Watch That Page will send you an email anytime changes are made to a website. Copy and paste the web address to all of the local company job boards you have found. Now, you will know the instant a new job becomes available.

2. Monitor the online classifieds of your local paper.

This strategy will greatly depend upon where you live. Many local papers are now offering “web only listings.” What that means is companies can save some money by just advertising their open jobs online.

Even one local news company in my area has created their own separate online job board. I see job openings on there all the time that are not advertised anywhere else. Give it a try!

3. Grab a specific RSS feed of your area for LocalJobBoard.com.

The last tip is a bit more web savvy then the rest. Still, if you have ever used Google Reader to read your favorite blogs, then it operates the same way. LocalJobBoard.com serves as a job board aggregator. Basically, it centralizes all the different job openings out on the web into one place. You can narrow your search right down to your specific city or even industry.

If you are open to moving for a job opportunity, you can even keep your options open by monitoring job openings for a specific state. Once you have narrowed down the job openings, you will want to grab the RSS feed. You can find the RSS find on any page by scrolling down to the bottom where you will find an RSS link for that specific category. Paste that link into a RSS reader like Google Reader. Now, you can easily check the page daily to see if any new job opportunities have opened up.

I realize that the above recommendations take a bit more work than just visiting CareerBuilder or Monster on a daily basis. However, visiting the major job boards is what everyone else is doing. I can guarantee you that less than 5% of job seekers are doing any of the above on a regular basis. Go for it!

Don’t have a degree? Check out these high-paying jobs without a degree!

Have any other job gathering tips? Leave them in the comments!

  1. Brent Pittman

    I like the part about building lists. You can also follow those local companies on LinkedIn.

    • Jonathan

      Hey Brent. That is a great idea and something I have mentioned others to do.

  2. Muchael Holmes

    This is a helpful tip. We just can’t wake up everyday and hope to find a job. There is a need to keep track of the opportunity. Thanks/

    • Jonathan


      Yep, you are exactly right. I especially tell those without a job to make their job search their new job. You need that type of mindset in this market.

  3. Joolie

    The solution that worked for my husband and me was http://www.indeed.com – this search engine finds jobs all over the web, including those listed on company websites, newspapers, job search engines like Monster, and others. I put in a key phrase and Zip Code and it send me daily updates of all the new listings with that word in it. Both our new jobs were listed in places I would not have known to look.
    We each applied to two jobs only, by being very selective (and patient) about carefully matching our qualifications and skills to the position requirements. We were each offered both jobs we applied for, and chose the one we felt met our needs best. He’s blue-collar and I’m white-collar so it works for everyone.

    • Jonathan

      Wow! You guys are the minority on this one. Statistics say that only 15-20% of people found their last job their an online job posting. Pretty cool for you! I do agree that Indeed is a better way to go since they aggregate jobs from many different places.

  4. I think the best way to get a job locally is to keep meeting new business people in you local community, either in person or through sites like LinkedIn. I’ve received several job offers in the past year from people who either know my work experience through an in-person encounter or through my online profiles. And I’m not even looking, they came looking for me! 🙂

  5. Jonathan

    Josh, I could not agree more. Many professionals have yet to realize how powerful building an online profile/brand can be. I read a statistic the other day that 60% of hiring managers are now “vetting” the candidate before offering the job by looking them up on social media sites (facebook, linkedin, twitter, etc).

    Having some recommendations on your Linkedin profile can “sell” yourself to the hiring manager. Build an online brand right and it will feed you jobs for years to come. Thanks!