A successful job search involves setting realistic goals, persistence, and dedication. Making a plan will keep you organized and motivated throughout your job search.
Job Search Steps
Step 1: Do you know what you like to do? Do you know what you are good at?
Before you begin exploring careers and identifying jobs and careers which will prove satisfying, you must first develop a true understanding of your skills, interests, values, and personality characteristics. If you haven’t already done some self-assessment, check out the Career Exploration page.
Step 2: How do you prepare to sell yourself?
Your resume, cover letter, and application materials provide an employer with the first impression of you as an individual. Check out the Resumes, Cover Letters, and more page to learn how to make your application stand out from the others.
Step 3: Sometimes it IS about who you know
Personal and professional relationships are invaluable. The people you know (and, in turn, the people they know) can help you learn
- about a particular field
- what they like and don’t like about their job
- how to get your foot in the door
- and, of course, about specific job opportunities
Learn more about Networking & Informational Interviewing.
Step 4: What do you do with all of this information. What’s Next?
It is important to look for opportunities using a wide variety of resources. This could include online job posting databases, the local chamber of commerce, professional associations, local classified ads, and of course networking. Also take a look at other On-line Job Resources.
Things to watch for while on-campus: The Career Center sponsors recruiting events throughout the year. Look for Job and Internship Fairs, recruiter information tables and sessions, resume drops, and, of course, SUCCESS, our job posting database. You can also apply for off-campus interviewing days through SLAC, the Selective Liberal Arts Consortium.
Step 5: What could cause more stress than a situation where someone expects you to be knowledgeable, inquisitive, motivated, and, well, perfect?
Few words create the mixed upwelling of emotion, excitement and fear as "Interview." To help you perfect your skills, the Career Center offers several resources as well as an on-line workshop on the Interviewing Skills page. You can also schedule an appointment for a mock interview to practice your skills.
Step 6: Accepting and negotiating an offer
When it comes to making the final decision about which job offer to accept, first consider what was important to you in a job. Does this offer meet many of the things you mentioned as interests? Are there adequate professional development and growth opportunities for you with this organization?
As you evaluate your offer consider whether or not you should negotiate your salary. To evaluate the salary you’ve been offered begin by using the NACE salary calculator or Salary.com to determine what is reasonable for your position, location and experience. Next prepare a budget to determine your financial needs. If the salary you were initially offered is far from the salary your research indicates or there is a large discrepancy between your budget, consider contacting your employer.
Additional job search related “How to” Guides:
- Job Search Strategies
- Writing Personal Statements
- Teaching Abroad
- International Job Search
- Letters of Recommendation
If you need more help…
The Career Center is available to assist you in each step along the way. Stop in or call to schedule an appointment.