Lots of people don't want to leave their local area to find a job, and that's completely understandable when family, friends, and hobbies are usually tied to specific locations.
If you've got concrete links to an area or if you just like where you live, then, it's perfectly understandable to want to also find employment nearby. Equally, you might want to find a job where you can work from home, or a position with a minimal commute.
There are plenty of tips and strategies that you can apply if you want to find the best local jobs possible. We've outlined our top advice here, and these tips can all be easily applied to your job search – so you'll be able to get your tactics perfected quickly and efficiently.
We've got plenty of job-hunting knowledge elsewhere, too. Head here for our round-up of the best US job sites, or click here for our top UK choices. And, finally, examine ten of the best work from home jobs – perfect if you want to stay local.
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Rely on local sources
Much of the recruitment market has moved online now, but you can have great success finding local jobs if you're willing to use more traditional methods.
Lots of local jobs are still listed in your local newspapers, for instance – pick up a copy and have a browse if you want to make sure that your job search is as comprehensive as possible. Many supermarkets and pharmacies also have notice boards with local, casual opportunities, so it's worth a browse when you're picking up some groceries.
Make sure you attend local job fairs, too. These are fantastic if you want to find a job with a nearby company – attend fairs and you'll be able to make great connections at loads of local businesses. Similarly, attend open house sessions at nearby companies to form similarly good connections, and consider joining your university or college alumni association too – these are often good sources for local vacancies.
Use local resources online, too
All of the sources we've just mentioned are based in the real world, and largely away from the internet. And while those are excellent options for finding local job vacancies, any exhaustive local job search should also include the top online methods, too.
We'd always recommend you head to Facebook. The site's sheer size means that virtually every company will have a presence there, and savvy local businesses will list their open positions on their social media pages. The best businesses in your area will also post their vacancies on their Instagram and Twitter pages. It's worth doing your research to find out which local companies you would be interested in joining and then following their social media profiles to ensure that you don't miss out – and if you're really keen, consider setting up alerts that appear whenever they post.
Most areas have several local interest groups on Facebook, so it's worth joining any local pages that are relevant – companies and staff members often post open positions there.
If you're in the US and Canada, you can also use Facebook Jobs to find positions in your area. Sadly, though, the service has closed in other countries.
Lots of local areas have their own Craigslist pages, and they are also popular venues for job listings – especially in retail, manufacturing, or casual positions.
Use the best job boards
There's plenty to be said for using traditional job boards. Sites like LinkedIn, Monster, and ZipRecruiter are among the world's biggest job sites, and so they should form the backbone of any comprehensive job search – after all, the majority of vacancies will be posted on those pages.
Happily, the sheer size of the biggest job boards doesn't mean that they lack a local focus. No matter what sort of position you want to find, you'll be able to search for a job based on its location. On most sites, you'll be able to apply several filters to search results, so you can narrow them down based on a multitude of factors, like location, industry, salary and the experience or qualifications required.
The big job boards are certainly not the only option you should consider if you want to find a job in your local area – have a varied plan if you're going to find as many local opportunities as possible. But, equally, the size and filtering options available on pages like LinkedIn, Indeed, and FlexJobs mean they should never be ignored.
Do some social networking
We don't mean heading to Facebook and Instagram here, either. Instead of using those modern social networking methods, consider talking to your friends and professional acquaintances.
If they know the kind of job you'd like or if they work in the same industry as you, they may know about opportunities and vacancies that would be perfect for you. This kind of networking can also put you in touch with people who may not even be interested in hiring – until they see your resume and decide to make an exception.
Networking is one of the best ways to ensure professional success, and relying on local contacts and knowledge is vital to finding the best positions in your neighborhood.
For all the websites, newspaper listings, and local Facebook groups out there, an old-fashioned conversation can often be the best way to find a local lead.
Visit company websites
If you've been hunting for local jobs for a while, then you're probably going to have a decent picture of the job market in your industry – you'll know the companies that you should consider and which ones you'd like to avoid.
Once you're in that position, it pays to make frequent visits to each company's website. They should all have careers pages that will provide you with all the information you need about each vacancy, but that's not all – the best corporate websites will also have information about the firm's culture, values, and people, and you should consider all of those attributes before you send an application.
And, critically, you can see exactly where the company is based, which will help you figure out if it's somewhere you want to work.
A good company website may have information about the HR staff you could interact with if you apply, and often you'll have to visit company websites to submit your application.
Use agencies or government services
An employment agency is often the best route to finding a new job, especially if you're new to the area or if you want to change industries.
A recruitment agency will usually have specialist knowledge that a candidate just doesn't possess – a good agency should know about all of the best local companies and industries and should be able to tell you about employment and business trends in your region.
A professional and competent agency should be able to get your resume in front of the most suitable hiring managers in the local area and supply good advice if you want to explore a new industry or a different kind of job.
There are other third-party options if you don't want to sign up to a recruitment agency, too. Many governments operate services that can help citizens find jobs, and these are always worth a look if you want to find local openings and if you need help with your applications.
Talk to local companies, keep up with the news and visit your library
There are a host of other small methods – both online and offline – that can strengthen your job search and help you find the best local positions.
If you want to stick to the internet, then it's not just enough to check job boards and see what your chosen companies are posting on their social media profiles. You should give yourself a leg-up on rivals by interacting with the companies you'd like to work for – it'll make them aware of your presence, and that could help you if you choose to apply for a job.
It's also worth following your local sources of business news. That'll keep you informed about which companies are doing well, which businesses are suffering, and if any new names are moving to your local area. That should ensure that you're well-placed to see which companies could be hiring in the future.
If you're happy to spend money on your job hunt, you could engage the services of a local career or life coach. They're able to help you figure out your next move – and can often see skills and openings that you can't. And, if they're local, they'll have extra knowledge that can help you find jobs in the immediate area.
Our final suggestion? Visit your local library. They're not just great for books: they often have noticeboards with open vacancies, you can use the computers to browse job listings, and some have job fairs and classes that can help you hunt for a vacancy if you're unsure about where to start.
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Mike has worked as a technology journalist for more than a decade and has written for most of the UK’s big technology titles alongside numerous global outlets. He loves PCs, laptops and any new hardware, and covers everything from the latest business trends to high-end gaming gear.