Finding a job in today’s economy might be tough, but if you are looking for a new career in Pittsburgh, there are some small things that you can do to give yourself a big advantage. The city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has some unique features to it that set it aside from the rest of the United States, and when you take these things into account during your job search, you can gain an edge over other job seekers. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Focus on What’s Here

Down the Right PathPittsburgh has a storied past, and this has had a big influence on its present situation. In addition to the steel industry, there are many big industries in this city, and it would be foolish not to start your search here, especially if you don’t have a particular career path already in mind. For example, Pittsburgh has many professional sports franchises, a few big universities and colleges, and plenty of other major businesses. These few businesses alone hold thousands of job opportunities within them. Companies like United States Steel, PNC Financial Services, and PPG Industries all rank within the top 200 largest publicly traded companies in the U.S. Others, like Duquesne University, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Pittsburgh might not be big corporations, but because of the large number of students that go here, there are plenty of needs that must be met. And all of these things mean jobs.

Focus on You

If you are looking for a job, ask yourself this one very important question: what are your skills? Skills do not necessarily need to be things that you’ve gone to school for years to develop, they can be interests, too. For example, if you are a big football fan, but have never been an athlete, football can still be a skill. The Pittsburgh Steelers might only play at Heinz Field for a few games every year, but this stadium has other sports teams that use their services. That means a fulltime staff at the field is necessary for things like custodial work, maintenance, concessions, and so on. Being a fan of sports is just the beginning, and can lead to many other opportunities. This is just one example of where a skill can take you, even if you don’t really consider it to be a skill.

Think Big

Because of the fact that Pittsburgh is a large city, they will have many of the same chains and companies located here that you find in every other big city—and small one, too—throughout the U.S. This leads to many more job opportunities than the unique parts of the city ever could. There are chain restaurants like McDonald’s, Starbucks, and Applebee’s, there are large stores, like Walmart and Sears, there are the auto repair shops, like AutoZone, and so many more. Working for a large corporation has some big benefits to it, too. These add an extra level of job security because the companies have stood the test of time. They also provide for quick advancement because of the sheer number of jobs that are available. In this respect, they do at least two good things for communities. They provide a needed service through their company’s services, but they also help the economy by providing jobs.

Having a nationwide or global chain as your employer can also lead to greater opportunities down the road. If you ever move or are looking for a promotion outside of Pittsburgh, there are likely to be job opportunities wherever else you might be looking to go. This isn’t necessarily an option you will want to use, but it’s nice to know it’s there.
Steelers Win

Be Prepared

Really, the best thing that you can do to secure a job is to be as prepared as possible. This means perfecting your resume, making the little changes that are going to be helpful from one employer to the next, and doing your research on where you will be the best fit. Changing the items of focus so that they are more applicable to the relevant duties you would be performing is a good way to customize your resume and ensure that you standout on your applications. This can make a huge difference.

It also means perfecting your interview techniques. You can’t prepare for every question that you might be asked, but if you are able to answer questions confidently and thoughtfully regardless, you will do a much better job of impressing a hiring manager in the long run. Also, be sure to come up with some basic questions of your own as you prepare. These will let the interviewer see that you have put thought into the position and are genuinely curious about what your role within the company will be. It will help both of you get a better feel for whether this is right for you.