People always talk about how they want to find jobs, but not that often about how they've actually done it. So here's me.
Before/during college, it was:
Since college, I've got most of my jobs through responding to want ads. But I suspect that as I get older I'll do that less, just because companies like to hire senior developers they're comfortable with.
1992, Research Assistant: Responding to an ad posted on the Political Science Department bulletin board at Pitt for a position at George Mason University (outside Washington, DC, about 4 hours away). I don't know how widely the ad was circulated, or if they had a lot of applicants for the position.
1993, Transportation Planner: Referral to a family member by someone I worked for. The early 90s were a difficult job market. After my previous position's contract expired I went through a few temp jobs while applying to a ton of jobs and got a few interviews. One temp job was at the Institute of Medicine. I must have done a good job because the woman I worked for gave her husband (who was high up in the Montgomery County Planning Department) my resume, and I got an interview and a position shortly after that. Planning wasn't something I aimed to get into but the writing, research, and public focus group interaction wound up being a pretty good job.
1995, Writer: Found this through a want ad in the Washington Post. I applied because of my experience over the previous two years with transportation -- this was at a non-profit, transit advocacy organization. The main part of the job was writing (articles for a trade magazine, whitepapers, memos), but one thing that set me apart was my familiarity with bulletin board systems (dialup, not internet). The position evolved into more IT stuff as I became the Netware admin, hooked up GroupWise to a single dialup account multiplexed for email, and put the first website up along with some dynamic.
1997, Webmaster: Another Washington Post ad, although I knew someone who worked at the educational non-profit. I'd gained enough experience with the web at the previous job to do it full-time, although I also had to do some helpdesk and other IT work (including building cheapo computers with unfinished metal, ouch).
1998, Software Developer: I started a company with a couple of the guys I worked at in the previous position, so this was definitely through personal connections.
2000, Software Developer: Company found my resume on the Pittsburgh Technology Council website. The position was kind of ill-defined and shortly wound up using Java, which I didn't know going in
2004, SQA: Found posting on Pittsburgh Technology Council website. I didn't have any explicit SQA experience but I was interested in being part of a software process. And I liked the company so much that I figured if SQA didn't work out I could move somewhere else...
2005, Software Developer: ...which happened 9 months later when I applied to a position on a much smaller team looking into new markets for our technology...
2006, Software Developer: ...the first new venture of which was spun off bout 9 months later, where I'm the lead architect on a rewrite of the server-side software.
How about you?