If you’ve ever found yourself looking for a job in Missoula, you know that sometimes, it seems darn near impossible. But, if you’re savvy and persistent in your search, there’s a good chance you’ll hear those magical words: You’re hired. You just have to be smart about when and where you look. Here are some good places to start:

1. The Missoula Job Service website – In my opinion, this is the most comprehensive resource in town for job seekers. There is no cost to register, and once you set up a profile, you can browse hundreds of job postings in a variety of fields, from restaurants to healthcare. Best of all, these listings have already been screened by the job service, reducing the chance that you will fall victim to a scam.

2. The Missoulian classifieds section – Plenty of local employers still advertise open positions the old fashioned way: in the newspaper. Don’t have a subscription? No problem — you can find all of the classified job listings on the Missoulian’s online jobs board.

3. The Missoula Independent classifieds section – The Independent often includes different job ads than the Missoulian does, and since the paper is free, you might as well pick up a copy and peruse the listings. You also can take a peek online.

4. Craigslist – Many Missoula businesses post employment opportunities on Craigslist, even if they have already advertised elsewhere. But this online classifieds giant also is prime scamming territory, so be careful.

5. Company websites – If you already have a good idea of the kind of job you’re looking for, check out the websites of businesses you’re interested in. Many companies — especially regional and national ones — list open positions online and use an online application process. Examples include First Interstate Bank, Sports Authority, Costco and JC Penney.

6. The University of Montana – UM is pretty much its own miniature city, and as such, there are tons of job opportunities in a variety of fields, from maintenance to accounting. Check out the university jobs page for job listings and details.

7. Personal inquiry – Sometimes you just have to suck it up and inquire in person about employment opportunities. Knowing someone who already works for a company you’re interested in can help you get your foot in the door, but showing genuine enthusiasm and interest will take you far as well. And remember, in some industries, timing is everything. For example, as the summer months approach, seasonal businesses such as hotels, golf courses and landscaping companies undoubtedly will be adding to their payrolls.

Brooke is a 2010 graduate of The University of Montana, where she ran track and cross country for the Grizzlies. She is currently working as a writer and editor in Missoula.