Tips for an Effective Job Search

You’re busy. When you’re looking for a job, you don’t have time to waste.

Here are some tips to make your career search efficient and effective.

Before you start your search:

  • Try to get some work experience in your field before you graduate.
    • Employers aren’t just looking for someone with a certificate or degree, they want someone with work experience.
    • An internship can really put you ahead of the competition for a job over other applicants.
    • Tip: The career center can help you find an internship.
  • If you don’t have work experience in your field, find a way to spin your other work or volunteer experience
    • Look for some transferable skills – skills that you’ve learned in one job that can transfer to another (more about those here).
  • Keep in touch.
    • Stay in touch with former employers or professors, you never know when you might need a reference letter from them or when they might know about an open position.
  • Clean up your social media presence.
    • What will an employer see when they search for you on Facebook or google? Read more about this here.
    • Consider signing up for LinkedIn, it’s like a professional Facebook.

When you’re searching for a job:

  • Take charge of your career search.
    • Don’t rely on other people to get a job for you. Your initiative will help you find the job that’s right for you.
  • Before you start applying for jobs, know what you’re looking for.
    • A good job search is a focused job search.
    • Make a list of job titles to search for on job search engines, like indeed.com. For example, looking to work at a non proft? You’ll want to search for nonprofts, non-profits, and non profits.  All three terms will turn up different results.
    • Make a list of potential area employers. Search their websites for jobs. Not every job shows up on a job search website.
  • Be thorough in your job search.
    • Don’t just search online. Check the career center at your school, attend job fairs, and network (more info about networking here). Share what you’ve learned about job openings with your friends and classmates, and ask for leads from them as well.
  • Don’t lie on your resume.
    • One of the worst things you can do is lie on your resume. You might ruin your chances with a company for a job you are qualified for in the future.
    • Even if you get the job, if you get caught lying, you can lose your job. It happens.
    • If you don’t get caught, and get the job, you could end up in way over your head.

Getting ready for an interview:

  • Remember to interview your interviewer.
    • You’ll want to ask the interviewer questions about the position. Make sure you come prepared. Tips on what to ask here.
    • Make sure you research the company before you are interviewed so that your questions can be specific and intelligent.

After the interview:

  • Learn from your mistakes.
    • If you interviewed for a job and were not selected for it, try to learn about why you didn’t get the job.
    • Don’t dwell on it though. You can’t beat yourself up over a bad answer to an interview questions. Learn from your mistakes and move on.
  • Send a thank-you note.
    • After an interview, send a thank you note. Tips to do that here.