Job Search Strategies For Students
1. Career Research/Developing a Plan
Focus on area of interest. Knowing how to focus your job search will help you set a gameplan and shape your approach to your upcoming job search. Questions you may ask yourself to get started:
- Is this related to my major/degree?
- What kind of employment—summer job, internship, fulltime employment? I.e., what do I want to get out of this job?
- What industry(ies) will I target?
- Do I have a preference in company size, location, etc?
2. Do research on your occupation of choice and/or industry
- www.eureka.org, Vault, Wefeet, BLS.gov are a few websites that might provide some of the factual information and data that you desire
- Begin to conduct informational interviews—facts are good to know, but people can put things into perspective and give you information that may not be available on the internet
3. Develop a plan for a multi-pronged approach, and get started!
- By developing a plan that takes advantage of every resource available, you are more likely to uncover that job that is as close to a perfect fit
- Different resources include job websites, job aggregate websites, in-person networking, online networking, and direct employer contact
4. Create/Update Your Resume and Cover Letter
- Remember that resumes are something that you will continue to work on, so view it as an ongoing process, and evolution of this document
- Knowing your focus of your job search (companies, industries, areas of interests, skills, etc) will help you write and/or update your resume
- We recommend that you prepare a couple of different resumes that might fit the industry or job type that you are applying for
- Always consider your audience when creating and sending your resume
- You want to make sure your resume “speaks” to that specific employer by addressing their needs, concerns, etc
- Do this by customizing your resume to each job you apply to—use the job description (if you have one) as your guide, it will tell you what they are looking for
- Write a cover letter to each job that you apply to—this is one more opportunity for you to sell yourself to the employer
- Again, “speak” to this employer—pick a few themes that you would like to talk about, that are relevant to the employer. Develop these themes!
- Send resumes to job listings
5. Informational Interviewing and Networking
- Network in person (professional organizations, informational interviews, introduce yourself to new people, be active in searching for new contacts, etc)
- Network online (LinkedIn, Facebook, Yahoo/Google Groups, Meetup.com, online professional organizations)
- The key to an effective interview is proper preparation before the interview
- Begin by reviewing the job description for which you are applying for; know exactly what the company is looking for in its next hire
- Research the company: find necessary background information of the company, read mission statement and values of company
- Develop an outline of topics and themes you want to convey to the company during the interview—start by developing the themes that you wrote about in your cover letter
- Naturally, you cannot anticipate every question they may ask you, but prepare the framework for the answers you know they will ask during the interview—these are the “gimmes”! Ex: “what are your strengths?”, “Are there areas in which you would like to improve?”
- Practice answering questions in front of mirror or with a friend, family member, or counselor—be mindful of verbal and visual (body language) presentation.