Find a Job

Search for a job that fits your education, abilities, and interests.

How to Tackle Your Job Search

Break down the job search process to manage it effectively

Don't get overwhelmed by the job hunt. The process can be lengthy and complicated, and doing too much at once can burn you out. Veteran job seekers know to break down the job search into parts and do a bit each day on a consistent basis. Here are some tips on how you can plan your job search so that you stay fresh in the task and ready for opportunities that appear.

Where to look

Job leads come in lots of forms — online posts, word of mouth from a friend, and electronic bulletin boards to name a few. Be open to searching for opportunities in all these ways. Consider these sources as you hunt for job leads.

  • Online global job search engines. Electronic tools like Indeed™ and Monster.com™ offer you an instantaneous way to find a job in your field.
  • Professional associations. Many professional groups offer job listing bulletin boards on their websites.
  • Classifieds. Newspaper classifieds, online or on paper, remain a good source for employment opportunities.
  • Federal and state employment offices. Your state employment office will likely have a database of jobs, which you can access from home or from a local branch of the state employment office or commission.
  • College career centers. Your college or university wants you to make good on your school investment. Many schools offer recruitment services which you should tap into.

What to have ready for your search

Prepare ahead by having ready a set of materials that make your case when it comes to applying for a job. These materials should include:

  • Concise, engaging resume. Your resume should tell the story of your experience and substantiate your qualification for the job. The resume should come as a text file for easy upload, a formatted electronic file, and a hard copy document.
  • A generic cover letter. Be sure to customize the letter for each job opportunity.
  • References. Most employers would like to talk with someone who knows your history and vouch for your abilities. Have about three or four folks willing to support your job application.
  • Letters of recommendation. You may find that a professor's endorsement or the endorsement of a highly regarded professional in your field will open doors for you.

How to stay sane while looking

Finding a job is a job in itself. Hard work and dedication are the best job hunting skills, but other hints might help you in your quest. Consider these tips:

  • Create a daily schedule of job hunting tasks. Be consistent in how much time you devote to your job search. A thorough job search is hard work. Set aside a couple hours of a day just to job hunt.
  • Stay balanced. Don't get overwhelmed by too much job hunting. Work out and relax to replenish your energy.
  • Be realistic about the time it takes to find a job. Don't expect to find a job within a few days. Job hunts can sometimes last for several weeks to months and even longer. You can find yourself discouraged if you expected a job sooner. Allow a reasonable amount of time to find a job and don't punish yourself if a job doesn't materialize immediately.
  • Keep a record. You may apply to the same company several times for different jobs. Maintain a record of all the places to which you applied, the name of the person with whom you spoke, and what response you received.
  • Have a back-up plan. Your dream job could take a while to appear. Or you may find that the market is tough to crack for your profession. If your search takes some time, you might consider getting more training while you search or even returning to get another degree if that can add to your appeal to employers.


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