Many industries thrive in L.A., so whatever your profession, it’s likely that there are Los Angeles jobs waiting for you. Here are our recommendations for landing your dream job in Los Angeles.
Researching Salaries in Los Angeles
Salaries vary depending on your geographic location. If you’re moving to Los Angeles, start by determining the local rate for the job you’re seeking. Not only will it help you negotiate when you’re offered a position, but it will give you an idea of your monthly budget when you’re out apartment-hunting. Use the salary calculator on Salary.com to figure out what you can expect to make in Los Angeles.
Crafting a Great Resumé
Finding jobs in Los Angeles (and anywhere, really) depends on your ability to impress an employer. A well-written cover letter and a professional-looking resume are the best way to show employers why they should hire you (and not some other schmuck). They are your chance to showcase your professional skills and accomplishments.
Don’t take formatting or proofreading lightly either — if your resume looks sloppy or your cover letter has spelling mistakes, employers might wonder how conscientious you’ll be at work, a trait that’s important no matter what the position. If spelling, grammar or formatting isn’t your forte, we recommend using a resume service such as ResumeEdge.com or e-resume.net.
If you find it difficult to write about yourself in glowing terms, put together a factual description of your experience and then give it to a friend or family member to “jazz” up. Look at resumes that your friends and family have written to get a sense of what yours might be missing. There are so many ways to write a resume, but the most important thing is to make yourself (and your skills) stand out from the pack. Since many hiring managers use computer programs to “scan” incoming resumes, make sure to use keywords that match the job description to ensure your resume makes its past the first round of screening.
Searching for Job Openings
The easiest way to find jobs in Los Angeles is through job search websites. Each one has a slightly different focus when it comes to the industries represented, so it’s worth the extra time to post on all of them. And once you post your resume online with each job search website, you’ll be viewable to employers who are looking for people with your skills and experience.
For general searches, we recommend the major job search engines — Monster.com and Craigslist. But there are many smaller and niche job sites out there which should be considered if you really want the best reach for your job search. Beyond.com and Job.com are less widely known, but still have a lot of valuable job listings.
Here are some additional niche job search sites to try based on your industry and skills:
- If you’re looking for a job in sports, try JobsInSports.com.
- For part-time and hourly jobs in Los Angeles, try SnagAJob.com.
- For creative Los Angeles jobs (designers, copywriters, marketers, etc), register with the staffing firm Creative Circle.
- If you’re a techie, register with CyberCoders.
- For audition-based jobs, try ExploreTalent.com.
- If you’re looking for a job in entertainment, search industry jobs at 4EntertainmentJobs.com and ShowBizJobs.com. (And don’t forget to regularly visit the websites of major studios as well, including Sony, Warner Bros, Disney/ABC and Fox.)
If you’re at the executive level (Director title or above), it can take longer to find jobs in Los Angeles because there are fewer executive-level positions at any given company. We recommend using a specialized job search site like Executive Search Online or The Ladders, which also allows you to located recruiters that will hunt for jobs for you.
If you don’t have a lot of time to spend searching the job board (or just find it too tedious), use a resume distribution service to get your name and experience on the desk of potential employers. We recommend ResumeRabbit.com, ResumeZapper.Com and EmailMyResume.com.
Networking is one of the best ways to find a job in L.A., even more so if you’re new in town. Meet as many people as you can and tell them you’re looking for a job. This is especially true if you’re looking for a job in the film biz — many times jobs aren’t even posted because they’re given to someone who was recommended by a current employee. Another great way to start is to find a P.A. (production assistant) gig. While P.A. jobs generally offer long hours for low pay, back-breaking work and the annoyance of dealing with big egos, they give you access to hundreds of people who are great contacts for future job openings.
If you’re not in the entertainment business, networking is an equally helpful job search tool. Create an account on LinkedIn.com and connect with as many current and past colleagues as you can. This will allow you to request introductions to hiring managers who are connected to you through your professional network and apply to Los Angeles directly (instead of your resume getting lost in a big stack).
Freelance and Temp Jobs
If you have an in-demand and/or specialized skill, you can often find freelance or contract-based jobs in Los Angeles that will give you a chance to make rent money and get your work noticed by potential employers. We recommend using Go Freelance and Elance to search for gigs. Los Angeles companies also utilize plenty of temporary work, so it’s worth signing up with some of the larger temp agencies while you’re waiting for a full-time job to come through.
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