How to Find a Job
Searching for a job is something you will do more than once, using a variety of methods and strategies. At any stage in your search, make an appointment with a Career Counselor to develop your own plan of action, especially if you have a very specialized job search. Outlined below are 10 steps that walk you through the job search process:
1. Clarify your interests, skills, and goals. Spend time identifying your interests (what you like to do), your skills (what you are good at doing), and your values (what’s important to you). Often referred to as self assessment, this is the process of learning more about yourself and clarifying some of the things that are most important to you. If you are interested in several possibilities, consider pursing a couple different types of jobs, with resumes and contacts for each search. You may also want to consider a 1-2 year option or fellowship.
2. Find out about careers and explore your options. In order to look for options that are a good fit, get ideas for occupations by reading about careers, attending panels and programs, and talking to alumni about their jobs. Browsing actual job descriptions can also give you a sense of what types of careers are out there, but don’t be discouraged if what sounds like the “perfect” job requires several years of experience. Talk with someone in that field to find out which entry-level positions can lead to that kind of position.
3. Polish your resume and cover letters and tailor them to particular positions. Take a look at your resume with fresh eyes and have it reviewed by a career counselor. After 4 years of continually adding to your resume, you may find that it has become crowded and in some places irrelevant to your current job search. As you find positions and organizations of interest, take the time to customize your cover letters and address them to the person who will be reviewing your application, if possible.
4. Update your profile on TigerTracks and search for positions. TigerTracks is an online career management system that holds literally hundreds of listings from a wide range of industries. Completing your TigerTracks profile will allow you to receive targeted e-mails from Career Services according to your interests. TigerTracks is also the system used to manage the on-campus recruiting program which coordinates the visits of organizations for information sessions and interviews.
5. Attend career fairs. Meet face-to-face with employers from business, government, communications, non-profit, manufacturing, and more, at one of our career fairs here on campus or nearby. Not only will you be able to find out more about employers, you can also make a great impression that will help you stand out from the crowd.
6. Search by industry and location. If you know which industries interest you, you can research employers and browse our links by industry. Also read the news and journals for your field to get ideas for up-and-coming workplaces and organizations. If you know where you want to be, you can use regional Chambers of Commerce to identify major businesses or organizations in that location, as well as local professional associations.
7. Talk to people you know and develop new contacts. Talk to friends about where they have interned or worked. Ask professors and graduate TAs who they might know in industry or organizations that interest you. Start with the Alumni Careers Network(ACN) to contact alumni who have offered to provide advice and assistance, and use other resources for developing contacts.
8. Initiate contact with employers. Show your interest in working for an organization through well-crafted cover letters and letters of inquiry. Request an opportunity to interview for information or to discuss job opportunities. Never mail out hundreds of resumes and expect employers to respond. You must be proactive, patient yet persistent, and able to articulate your particular interest in that position or organization.
9. Keep track of your applications. It may sound like common sense, but set up a system to manage your job search. Keep copies of the cover letters and resumes you submit, as well as of the position announcements you respond to. If you apply to something online, print out the posting in case you are not able to access it later. You can then refer to them as you prepare for interviews.
10. Follow up with employers and contacts. After submitting a resume, check in with the employer to reiterate your interest in the position and ask about their interviewing timeline. You should also send a thank-you note to employers after you have interviewed, as well as to contacts you’ve met.