Job Hunting Tips and Career Choices
No matter what kind of job you're looking for—a temporary summer position, a part-time job during the school year, an internship, or your first full-time position after graduation—there are several tips and tricks that can help you find your treasure—the perfect position.
Writing a Resume
A resume shows potential employers what skills and experience you have, and why you'd be a valuable addition to their company. Writing a resume can seem especially challenging as a current college student or recent graduate with limited work experience. There are some things you can do to make yours stand out from the crowd.
Include where you went to school, your graduation date, and field of study on your resume, as well as skills you learned. For example, did you analyze and critique novels for English classes? Make sure to highlight your critical thinking and analytical skills.
A position doesn't have to be full time, or even paid, to be included in your work history. Make sure to highlight applicable skills you learned through jobs, internships, volunteer work, and club memberships.
Tailor Your Resume
Some employers use Applicant Tracking Systems, computer programs that scan resumes and cover letters for keywords. Tailor your resume each time you apply for a job to include some of the keywords used in the position description to ensure your resume isn't accidentally filtered out by a computer program before a real person even looks at it.
Social Media and Your Job Search
How does social media factor into your treasure hunt? The most important thing to remember is that you are not the only one using social media—your prospective employer may be, too.
How Employers Can Use Social Media
- Post vacancies—some positions posted on social media may not be posted anywhere else online
- Search for candidates with skills that fit job description and qualifications of open positions
- Verify education and employment histories provided on applicants' resumes
How to Make Social Media Work for You
Consider your social media accounts to be your first first impression—employers may see your online persona before you even meet face to face.
Create a profile on LinkedIn, adding as much information about your professional and educational background as possible. You can also reach out to people you've worked with to provide recommendations and endorsements for you.
Be careful what you post—you never know when a potential employer might be looking at your status updates, blog posts, and photos.
Double check that your work history, education and qualifications on your Facebook and LinkedIn profiles are updated and tell the same story as your resume.
Use social media to build your professional network. Follow professionals that hold the positions you hope to have in the future, and participate in professional Twitter chats to learn more about your field.
Create a website or blog that highlights your professional accomplishments and demonstrates the value you would bring to a future employer.
Return to social media tips navigation
Where to Begin Searching
Before you begin your hunt, make sure you know where you're going. The right job can help you further your personal and professional goals, so it's important to know where to look for job openings. There are plenty of resources available online and offline to help you research positions.
- Job search engines and boards (talk to your advisor to learn about job boards specific to your field or location)
- Setting up alerts on job boards ensures you're notified of postings that match your criteria
- Social media sites
- Your campus' career center website
- Career section of company websites, like Careers at Great Lakes
- People you already know (networking)
- Career fairs
When looking for jobs online, be wary of scams. Never give out important personal information like your date of birth or Social Security number before you have been offered a job.
Don't apply for just any job, make sure it's a good fit for you. Look at the company's website and what people are saying online. Make sure to look at the work environment, the type of work you'll be doing, and opportunities for growth to determine if a job is right for you.
Getting the Interview
Being offered an interview is great—but it doesn't mean your treasure hunt is over. This is one of the final stages of your search. Research the company to ace the interview. Check out their website and social media pages to research the day-to-day operations, missions, and goals of the company.
Tip: When the interviewer offers you a chance to ask your own questions, use the opportunity to learn more about the organization. Ask questions about the work environment, opportunities for advancement, and what kind of experience is required for the position to ensure that you can fit into the corporate culture and succeed in the position.
Preparing for Your Interview
It's important to put your best foot forward when heading into an interview.
Dress to impress.
Generally, what you are wearing is the first thing the person interviewing you will notice. Wear a suit, style your hair neatly, and don't overdo accessories.
Bring several hard copies of your resume with your most up-to-date contact information, and have some questions prepared to ask the interviewer.
Turn off or silence your cell phone.
Your phone should be off or silenced—vibrate mode isn't enough. Focus on the interview! You don't want to be distracted by your cell phone.
Smile and make eye contact throughout the interview.
Reviewing a Job Offer
Once you've completed your search and have the treasure in your hands, review the job offer to make sure the position and the company are a good fit for you and your career goals.