Job Search Preparation

Six Things YOU CAN DO to find a job in the current job market:

1. Network! Network! Network! Consider using grads.linkedin.com! There is a YouTube video on how to use this online networking site. It is much like Facebook, but is a professional networking site. Besides networking, the site offers job listings, allows you to post information from your resume on your personal profile, and research companies you are interested in! Also, use the contacts you have – family, friends, professors, professionals, etc. Reach out in personal emails and phone calls to talk with those who could connect you to an opportunity or another person. Don’t let people know your desperation of finding employment – they don’t want to hear it! They want to hear what your qualifications and passions are. A positive spirit will go a lot further!

2. Tailor your resume. Highlight your experiences in a way that would match the duties listed in the job description. Ask yourself, does my resume show the qualifications I have that pertain to the position I am applying for? Employers do not have time to pick apart a resume to see if somewhere underneath all the text is experience – it needs to be obvious. After all, your resume does not get you the job, your interview does!

3. Write a cover letter for every application. A cover letter is your chance to tell the employer what qualifications you have that make you a great candidate. It is your chance to make the connections of your qualifications and the job description for the employer. Employers spend about 20-50 seconds scanning a resume; the cover letter will help them make the connections they could miss.

4. Keep your options open. Look and apply for multiple types of positions, part-time and even outside of your field of interest. It is understandable you may have a dream job and salary in mind, but you need to focus on your current need. If it is money- get any position to help pay the bills, and continue to look. To keep active/current in your field – use your free time and volunteer! (This could also increase your network!)  If money is not an option, and you don’t want to settle for any other field –consider a “lower-level” job at your site of interest to get your foot in the door.

5. Continue to apply. Make looking for employment your “full-time” job. It is known that for every 10 resumes you send, you can hope to hear from one. So continue applying. Remember to follow-up with an employer after sending in your resume and cover letter to make another connection. Don’t harass them, but be courteous and follow-up to show your level of interest.

6. Own the challenge. Get excited about what opportunities are available and defining the unknown! Don’t get discouraged so easily by things you cannot control. Know that there is a plan and a purpose for everything that happens in your life, and all you can do is give your best effort. If you are applying, networking, and putting efforts and energy into your job search, then you are on the right track!