Before You Search


The Riley Guide:

Before You Search

If you’re in the market for a new job, it’s tempting to just jump straight into your search – but you’ll save yourself a lot of time, energy and stress if you lay some groundwork beforehand. For example, you’ll be able to target your searches much more precisely, and filter out unhelpful leads more effectively, if you’ve done a precise assessment of your skills and interests – and you can target your searches toward jobs and industries with growth potential if you’re aware of current trends and recent developments in your sector of interest.

The links on this page will point you toward resources designed to get you well-prepared for a successful job search. This includes assessing yourself, researching potential employers and industries, finding a career coach or support group, networking, training, and even verifying that a job offer isn’t a scam. Whether you’ve just decided to start looking for a new job, or you’re ready to turbocharge your search with some precise techniques, this page is the place to get started.

Explore Options

  • Self-Assessment Resources — If you’ve hit a rut or a roadblock in your career, now may be the time to break out some self-assessments and find out where the problem lies. This article introduces the various types of self-assessments, and explains how to turn their results into actionable insights about yourself and your career.
  • Explore Career Options: Career & Occupational Guides — The Internet is full of informational resources on the salaries, types of work and prospects you can expect in hundreds of different careers. Here’s a guide to some of the best databases on the web, along with tips on getting the most out of them.
  • Counseling, Coaching, & Mentoring — Finding a person to guide you in your career isn’t just something you do when you’re in crisis – it’s a regular habit of many highly successful people. This page provides some tips and links for finding your own mentor or coach, and on how to approach the relationship.
  • Employment & Industry Trends — Knowing where your industry stands – and where it’s heading in the immediate future – can help you plan a move to a more secure occupation, or at least put your current situation in context. These resources will help you track and compare the development of a variety of industries across a wide range of geographical locations.
  • Featured Articles with Career Advice — A number of career experts have contributed pages of advice to The Riley Guide, and this page features some of our top picks on the topic of career development. Just a quick skim of these pages will provide some new insight into your quest for a better career.

Prepare for the Search

  • Job Search Advice — Guidance on career development can come from all kinds of sources, including career experts, online discussions and even government databases. Here’s a list of some great places to check for advice on your own career, from evaluating your current job to choosing a new one.
  • Networking & Support Groups — Searching for a job can take a psychological toll, which is why it’s crucial to connect with other workers who share your struggle and can sympathize with your frustrations – and give you those periodic energy boosts you need in order to keep searching. This article walks you through the process of finding a career support group near you, or starting your own.
  • Preparing for the World of Work — If you’re entering the workforce for the first time, areas like money management and office etiquette can seem a little overwhelming. That’s why we’ve put together this list of resources that’ll guide you through your entry into (or return to) office life.
  • Legal Issues in Employment & Hiring — Many countries have laws designed to protect your rights before, during, and after an interview; along with even more laws governing your rights as an employee, and laws governing what a potential employer can ask of you as a candidate for hire. So before you go to that first interview, check out these tips for protecting your rights.
  • Scams & Schemes in Employment & Work Services — If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! Scams are everywhere in the world of job-searching, but even the cleverest scammers will eventually start throwing up red flags. Here’s how to spot them, and how to take action when you catch one.
  • Is This Job Real? — Sometimes a potential employer seems a little fishy – maybe their website looks incomplete, or you can’t find much information on them with a Google search. This page contains a list of tips for researching a job that you suspect isn’t real, and what to do if you applied for a scam job.
  • Privacy Issues — Posting your resume online means striking a delicate balance between placement and privacy: You want to make sure it’s seen by the right people, but also prevent it from being seen by the wrong people. Here are some tips for making sure your resume gets seen, but not shared with anyone shady.
  • Featured Articles with Job Search Advice — The Riley Guide is home to quite a few articles by career coaches and other experts, and this page contains a collection of the best insider tips on job-searching. Take a look, and you’re likely to find some ideas for your own search.

Education & Training Options

  • Consider More Training & Education — Planning a move into a new career often means getting more training, no matter how well-educated you already are. Here are places to find more detailed info on education, training and financial aid.
  • Internships, etc. — Internships, apprenticeships and fellowships are some of the most straightforward ways to gather the experience require for many entry-level positions. This page provides links to quite a few sites that cater specifically to these kinds of openings, along with info for using these resources.
  • Apprenticeships & The Job Corps — Apprenticeship programs provide structured, on-the-job training for more than 1,000 career areas in hundreds of different industries. Here’s how to find a type of apprenticeship that interests you, and get in touch with the person or company that offers it.
  • Unions, Associations, & Societies — If you’re already employed, a union or association can represent your occupation’s interests and provide benefits – and if you’re looking for work, many of these organizations offer apprenticeships and other training opportunities. Te resources on this page will help you track down groups involved in your own field, and find out what they can offer you.