Before you begin your job search, it is crucial that you think about your specific career goals and how you can get there. Just like a thesis statement focuses a paper topic, defining your career goals can help you focus your job search to only the jobs and companies that match them.
To help you determine your career interests, answer these three questions:
What are some other ways to determine your career interests?
When preparing yourself for your job search, it is important to make sure you have everything ready to go right away:
It is important to remember the cover letter in the application process, as it is often the first part of your application an interviewer reads. It also serves as the bridge between your skills and experience on your resume and the responsibilities in the job description. You can use the cover letter to explain how your skills can help meet those responsibilities, especially if you are applying for a job that does not directly align with your previous experience.
Once you have completed the other steps, you can search for posted job openings. There are a number of ways that you can look for these open positions:
Once you have determined your career interests, it's important to determine what companies offer the best opportunities for you.
One way is to use LexisNexis's company search. You can limit by geographic location and industry, by using SIC industry codes. You can then create a list of companies at which you might be interested in working.
Once you have your list, you can begin researching those companies to learn more about them. Research the company's website or conduct an informational interview to learn about what the company is doing. If you have enough free time, ask if you can volunteer at the company or shadow a person for a day. You may also want to ask about any internship opportunities.
When contacting companies directly, referred to as Cold Calling, it is important to have a strategy before calling. Know beforehand who you would like to speak with and what you would like to ask them. If possible, have a phone script handy to ensure you stay on track. If you are not able to get through, ask if you can still send in your resume for review for future positions.
Networking is one of the most important parts of the job search process. Having connections with people in companies and positions you are interested in often improves your chance of getting a job because of the help and advice they can provide. Here are some ways you can network:
Some General Tips: