The Job Search
Job Search Steps
Consider: "Who am I?" and "What do I have to offer?"
- Begin with self-assessment. In order to properly market yourself, you need to take time to discover yourself. Successful job seekers will take time to identify their specific skills, interests and goals.
- Self-awareness helps you to conduct a more focused job search and seek out the best-fitting opportunities. Consider taking our online assessment: FOCUS (contact us for the keycode).
- Knowing who you are and what you have to offer will increase your job search success since you will be able to clearly communicate how your skills, strengths and abilities match up with the job description and requirements.
- After taking a self-assessment (like FOCUS), you should be able to research and explore career options that match up with your skills, interests, values and personality.
- Career Development is available to help you research different career fields and offers excellent resources both online and in the career resource library.
- Prepare essential job search materials like your resume and cover letter. Remember that each of these should be tailored specifically for each position that you apply for.
- Practice your interviewing skills. Sign up to take the "perfect interview!" (contact us to make an appointment)
- Line up your references: Be sure to ask permission first to see if they are willing to be a positive reference and if you can share their names and contact information.
Plan and Pursue
- The job search requires having a plan and being organized. Use a job search worksheet to keep yourself on track of how many jobs you have applied for and the steps you have taken.
- Keep a workspace tidy and have a designated phone number with a suitable answering service for employers to call. Remember to present yourself well on your answering machine or voicemail. Keep it simple and professional.
- Have a plan of action. Set aside time to devote to your job search and create goals for yourself each day.
- Pursue opportunities using various job search strategies and remember to keep your options open!
Be Patient and Persistent
- The truth about job searching is that it takes time and effort. You may have heard the saying, "Looking for a job is a job," and that is entirely true!
- Once you have accomplished your job search goals for the day, reward yourself by doing something you enjoy. Be patient and continue to work diligently toward your goals! It will pay off!
- The most important key to job search success is to follow up! If you've not heard from an employer in a week or two, contact the employer to confirm the receipt of your application and ask when they expect to contact candidates for interviews. Once you have your interview, remember to write a thank-you letter. Additionally, if the employer has not contacted you in the given time-frame, contact the employer. Ask where they are in the hiring process and express your continued interest.
Job Search Strategies
Networking is by far the most effective strategy. Contact friends, neighbors, relatives, professors, former employers, parents of friends and anyone else who'd be willing to help your job search efforts. These people can act as additional eyes and ears. Let them know what kind of job you're looking for and be open to any help and advice that they may offer. Remember to utilize the Alumni Career Network (Hatternet)!
Seek out employers of interest even if they aren't publicly hiring. You can directly contact employers by phone or through a letter of interest.
Sign up for College Central Network. Take advantage of this free service! Make sure to upload your resume so that employers can search for you.
Attend career fairs, information sessions and the Speaker Series! Check the Career Development calendar regularly!
Utilize both general and career-specific websites. Look at our job search job search resources to help you get started!
Professional associations often allow you to join while you're a student at a discounted rate. Even as a non-member, professional associations often have websites, which include job search resources, career advice and networking events.
Look for agencies provide staffing for your area of interest: accounting, nonprofits, finance, etc.
Although it's a form of networking that may lead to a potential job opportunity, this isn't a job searching tool. Informational interviews can be used to gain insight into specific careers, to get information on how to get into the field and to develop contacts.
Keys to Job Search Success
Contact the employer if you haven't heard back from them within a week or two and confirm that they've received your application or letter of interest. Send a thank you letter to the interviewer(s) once you have interviewed and follow up to find out when you should be notified about your candidacy.
Be Open to Opportunities
Although your first job may not be your dream job, it may lead to it and help you gain experience, develop your skills, and realize future goals! Take advantage of opportunities that come your way!
Keep Your Resume and Cover Letter Focused
Customize your cover letter and if necessary, your resume for each job position. Make sure your cover letter and resume focus in on why you are the best candidate for the position.
Let everyone know that you are looking for a job. Make sure you get out from behind your computer and attend networking events through professional associations, contact alumni, conduct informational interviews, etc. Get yourself out there!
Utilize Career Development and all of our resources like the FOCUS online assessment, the "perfect interview" and College Central Network! You will find lots of helpful information on this website, including tools, tips and helpful resources.
Try Several Strategies
"Don't put all your eggs in one basket." If you limit your job search to one method, you'll end up limiting your options.
Follow Others' Footsteps
Learn how others in your field of interest have been successful. Don't limit yourself to one source. Talk to faculty, alumni, family friends, relatives and professionals in your field of interest. Utilize the Alumni Career Network (Hatternet)! Get advice from the experts!
Many employers recruit months in advance of the anticipated start date. On average, it takes one to three months months to find a job, but it's always better to start early and be patient and persistent!