How to Land a Job in San Francisco in 2012

The City by the Bay has a strong job market compared with other U.S. cities.


Affectionately called the "Golden Gate City” or the “City by the Bay,” San Francisco provides more than a bay view for job seekers. It also has a strong job market compared with other U.S. cities, and is a particularly good area for those looking to work in technology.

Here are some tips to snag a job in San Francisco:

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1. Check local job boards. Pay attention to the local job boards when job searching in any location. Peruse the listings on sites like Bay Area Jobs, San Fran Jobs, and San Fran Recruiter, and reach out to any applicable companies. The website for San Francisco's Department of Human Resources also has advice and resources for job seekers, employees, and HR professionals. If you're interested in working for the city government, check out the SFGov job site. Also check the employment section of the San Francisco Chronicle, which offers career advice as well as a place to post your resume.

2. Get social. Facebook and Twitter are great resources. Recruiters use such sites more than ever to find potential employees, and you should see these websites as a place to network. San Fran Jobs has nine separate Twitter handles that list jobs in industries such as education, healthcare, and sales. To see the full list, click here. The job site also has a Facebook page that lists local job openings.

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3. Check out these popular industries. Technology companies are huge in this area, what with the presence of Silicon Valley, which is home to corporations like Apple, Pixar, and Google.

RezScore, a free web app that grades your resume, has research that shows for every 1,000 jobs created in the San Francisco area, 125 are in software. Software jobs include those involving programming, coding, graphic design, engineering, and more. RezScore reports the city's other big sectors are nonprofit work, accounting, and marketing.

4. Update your resume. Job seekers in any city need an up-to-date resume. If you're using social media to connect with potential employers—and you should be—make sure to link to those sites in your resume. Also, make sure to focus on specific accomplishments in your experience section, rather than simply listing your day-to-day responsibilities.

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Also keep in mind that even a great resume needs keywords to get it through an automated application system and into human hands. San Francisco's most in-demand keywords are HTML 5, UX (User Experience), MVC (Model-View-Controllers), Ruby on Rails, and Git, according to RezScore's findings. While these specific keywords may not apply to your set of skills and experiences, it's important to do your research and find the essential keywords for your resume and in your desired industry.

5. Investigate the best places to work. It's reassuring to land a job at a company where others enjoy working. Glassdoor, a website that posts company reviews, released its annual list of the country's best workplaces, based on employees' favorable input. Seven of the 50 companies mentioned, including Bain & Company, Google, and Slalom Consulting, have offices in the Golden Gate City.

Have you recently landed a job in San Francisco? If so, share your tips below.

Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing consultancy for organizations with products that target job seekers and employers. She is also the author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle.

Twitter: @heatherhuhman


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