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How to Use Newspaper Classified Ads and Newspaper Help Wanted Ads to Look for Jobs

Harrison Barnes
By Oct 13,2022
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Even with technological advances, newspaper ads are still the best source for jobs and a very smart place to look. Regardless of your experience level, it is vital that you include newspapers in your job search if you are to be thorough. Many employers still rely on newspapers, but fewer people use them in their searches, which makes them a very effective tool.

Historically, the best place to look for jobs was in the newspaper help wanted ads. In fact, newspapers were largely supported by revenue from help wanted ads  until recently. The stories you have likely heard about various newspapers closing down and/or experiencing severe financial problems have been caused not only by declining circulation but also by a massive exodus of employers posting jobs online instead of in the newspaper.

Up until around 2000, the only place that it really made sense to look for jobs was in newspaper classified ads. If you were living in Dallas and wanted to work in Los Angeles, for example, you would go to the library and look at jobs in the Los Angeles Times classified ads. If you were living in New York and wanted to work in London, you might go to a specialty bookstore (or library) to get a copy of The Times of London so you could read the classifieds. While recruiters certainly played a role in helping people transition between jobs, the largest source of jobs were newspaper employment classifieds in various cities.

The majority of people today are getting their news online. They are also using job sites to look for jobs. Accordingly, the number of employers using newspaper classified ads to search for employees is declining and the people using newspaper classified advertisements to look for jobs is declining as well.

Despite the massive decline in newspaper advertising, I still believe that newspaper classifieds are an excellent source of jobs and a very smart place to look for work. If you are going to be thorough in your job search, it is extremely important that you make newspapers part of your job search regardless of your experience level.

Because fewer people are looking at newspaper advertisements you often stand a much better chance getting a job when you use them than when you use online job sites. Remember: In order to apply to jobs via newspaper classified ads, you often need to have the newspaper in front of you (or a subscription to it). In contrast, when a job is posted online, anyone with an internet connection can apply to it. This means that when a job is posted on a major website it is likely to receive applications from all over and in great abundance (all it takes is an Internet connection to apply). In contrast, jobs in newspapers will receive far fewer applications.

Newspapers are not experts in marketing their jobs online. Many newspapers post the jobs they print in the paper on their website as well. However, because the newspapers are not experts in the ”online space” the jobs they are posting on their website are not likely to be found by people doing web searches. For example, if you are searching for a certain type of job or a job in a major city, the websites that are most likely to come up will be major job sites like Monster, EmploymentCrossing, or CareerBuilder, and not the newspaper website. This means that even though the job is online it is still not likely to be found.

Many employers are also very accustomed to posting their jobs in newspapers and more comfortable doing so than with large job sites. Many large employers that have been around a long time are actually more accustomed to posting jobs in the newspaper than they would be posting jobs on a site like Monster. For example, if they call Monster to post a job they will be likely speaking with someone in a call center in New Delhi. In contrast, if they call their local newspaper, they will be speaking with someone who works in the same city as they do and has roots in their community. In addition, they may know the representative of the newspaper who may take them to lunch, send them holiday cards and so forth. This sort of thing is very important to many employers.

Your ability to find jobs in a newspaper actually increases in smaller markets. For example, in the largest markets like Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and so forth, the majority of jobs tend to have migrated online. However, in smaller markets, job classified ads may be ”the only game in town” and the only place you can find jobs.

In smaller markets, people tend to enjoy reading the local newspaper because it contains news that is very relevant to them and about people they know. There will be articles about local store openings, events at local high schools, and various people in the community. In addition, most of the employers in these small towns and regions will all post their jobs in the local newspaper. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the majority of these employers in smaller markets would not think of posting their jobs on a major job site.

Smaller newspapers are one of the least understood and most powerful ways for you to track down jobs. There will be advertisements of all kinds in these publications and the papers will only be receiving local applicants. There are ads for lawyers, teachers, doctors, machinists, and just about everything else that you can think of. In addition, very few job seekers are smart enough to look in these local newspapers (outside of where they may live) when looking for jobs. Most of these local newspapers also post their advertisements online which makes using them incredibly easy.

All over the United States there are a myriad of small newspapers that have advertisements for employers desperate to hire various talent. Whenever I speak with someone who says there are no jobs in whatever field they are interested in working, after spending a few minutes with them and showing them the literal treasure trove of newspaper classified job sites out there, I rarely hear they did not find a job quickly. There are so many of these sites that it is unbelievable. If you take a job doing your profession in a smaller town you may not make the same income you do now; however, that generally does not matter if you are going to work in an area where the cost of living is lower.

Almost every newspaper out there has a website where it also posts its classified jobs. As a general rule, the ads that a newspaper prints in its newspaper are almost always posted on the newspaper’s website as well.

It is important to understand that jobs in newspapers and on the newspapers’ websites will receive more applications when powered by major job sites. Job seekers should be wary of newspaper job sites that are ”powered by” or ”in partnership with” a major job site. Some newspaper websites are ”powered by” or ”in partnership” with job sites like Monster, CareerBuilder, and so forth. What this means is that if the job is posted on the newspaper then it is also being posted on the major job site. Unfortunately for the job seeker, the job is then going to be receiving just as much distribution (and applications) as it would if it was posted on the major job site. Many newspapers have partnered with major job sites in order to try and remain competitive in the classified market because so many jobs have migrated to major job sites. The newspaper will typically split the fee the employer pays to post the job in the paper with the major job site in circumstances where a newspaper job site is ”powered by” or ”in partnership” with a major job site like CareerBuilder.

Newspaper classified help wanted sites can be particularly useful if you are open to relocation. For example, if you are a high level executive, it is always a good idea to check all of the major newspapers if you are open to relocating. Many major employers will often post various openings they have for very high level executives in the newspapers in their markets. There are even more lower level positions in newspapers job classified sites than upper level positions.

How to Find Newspaper Job Classified Sites/List of Newspaper Classified Sites

Most decent sized towns across the United States (and world) have newspapers. Here are some good sources of newspapers you can use in your search:


Each of these lists can provides you a list of various newspapers you can search when looking for jobs. I recommend checking these newspapers in the areas of the country you may be interested in working in.

In addition, at https://www.employmentcrossing.com we monitor newspapers for new job openings as they become available.

When you check these sources of jobs there are few things to keep in mind. Many of these newspapers have different rates depending upon whether an employer posts a job just on Sunday, Monday through Saturday, or just one day of the week. Therefore, you may need to check the newspapers in the cities you are working in quite often to make sure you get full coverage of all the jobs.


Because many employers still use them and because fewer people are searching them for jobs, newspaper classified ads are a great source of jobs. They should be part of any job search and are a very effective way to look for jobs.


Even with technological advances, newspaper ads are still the best source for jobs and a very smart place to look. Regardless of your experience level, it is vital that you include newspapers in your job search if you are to be thorough. Many employers still rely on newspapers, but fewer people use them in their searches, which makes them a very effective tool.

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About Harrison Barnes

Harrison Barnes is the Founder of BCG Attorney Search and a successful legal recruiter himself. Harrison is extremely committed to and passionate about the profession of legal placement. His firm BCG Attorney Search has placed thousands of attorneys. BCG Attorney Search works with attorneys to dramatically improve their careers by leaving no stone unturned in a search and bringing out the very best in them. Harrison has placed the leaders of the nation’s top law firms, and countless associates who have gone on to lead the nation’s top law firms. There are very few firms Harrison has not made placements with. Harrison’s writings about attorney careers and placements attract millions of reads each year. He coaches and consults with law firms about how to dramatically improve their recruiting and retention efforts. His company LawCrossing has been ranked on the Inc. 500 twice. For more information, please visit Harrison Barnes’ bio.

About BCG Attorney Search

BCG Attorney Search matches attorneys and law firms with unparalleled expertise and drive that gets results. Known globally for its success in locating and placing attorneys in law firms of all sizes, BCG Attorney Search has placed thousands of attorneys in law firms in thousands of different law firms around the country. Unlike other legal placement firms, BCG Attorney Search brings massive resources of over 150 employees to its placement efforts locating positions and opportunities that its competitors simply cannot. Every legal recruiter at BCG Attorney Search is a former successful attorney who attended a top law school, worked in top law firms and brought massive drive and commitment to their work. BCG Attorney Search legal recruiters take your legal career seriously and understand attorneys. For more information, please visit www.BCGSearch.com.

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