There are many things involved in a job search. The average time it takes a graduating senior to secure a position is approximately six months. Consider these items in order to make the job search more seamless and successful.
A résumé summarizes your professional history, skills, and qualifications, including education. Your résumé is one of the most important initial job search tools.
The main goal of the résumé is to get you to the interview stage. The résumé should be easy to read and relevant to each position for which you are applying. When you start creating/editing your résumé, review the job descriptions for the job. Employers spend approximately 5-12 seconds reviewing an individual’s résumé, so you should make it easy for them to understand.
To showcase your skills in the best possible light, you should choose a résumé format that fits you. Some examples of résumé formats that you might consider include the following:
- Curriculum Vitae
Creating a résumé can be very challenging and time consuming. OptimalRésumé is a resource that can help you create your résumé.
Cover letters, which are required for most professional positions, are a great way to provide relevant details and evidence about the skills and background you can bring to a position. This letter addressing your experiences supports your résumé in demonstrating that you meet the necessary qualifications for the job.
We recommend using the S.T.A.R. technique to explain relevant experiences; the S.T.A.R. technique is very simple to use yet affords you the opportunity to be thorough while also providing an interesting framework in which to convey your skills and background. S.T.A.R. stands for “Situation,” “Task,” “Action,” and “Results.” Personal action steps and resulting situations are often forgotten when conveying experiences from the past, but these are often the most important things to include! Schedule an appointment with CDCE to assist you with crafting your cover letter.
Once you are at the interview stage of the job search, you have a great opportunity to share who you are as a professional to the employers.
Keep in mind though that preparation is going to be vital to your success in the interview process. Some things you can do to help improve your performance in an interview include the following:
- Prepare a one-minute commercial to introduce yourself
- Review common interview questions
- Research the company and the job description
- Simulate an actual interview by scheduling a mock interview with CDCE
- Practice a virtual interview through Optimal Interview
Portfolios are an excellent way to showcase your hard work to employers, and these can be useful to students in a wide variety of majors. Remember to save your group projects as those can serve as stepping stones to landing a job. A great website to help you in portfolio creation is OptimalRésumé.
More and more frequently, employers are using social media in their recruiting endeavors. They often search the social media accounts of prospective employees—and even vet below privacy features in some cases. Many organizations have individuals employed whose sole job function is to investigate and evaluate candidates based on their social media accounts. Consider these statistics:
- Ninety-four percent of recruiters use or plan to use social media in their recruitment efforts.
- Seventy-eight percent of recruiters have made a hire through social media.
This means that job search candidates should consider their social media presence as part of the job search process, just like a résumé or interview. LinkedIn is a popular platform that not only makes cultivating a professional presence easy, but also can help build a valuable network. In addition to expanding your network, LinkedIn has many great resources for job search and internship opportunities. Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest can also be used to enhance your job search. It is important to represent yourself in a professional way and provide accurate and consistent content when using these websites.
A network is an interconnected group of supporters who serve as resources for your job search and, ultimately, for your career.
How Do I Network?
- Know your interests and skills and be able to articulate those to anyone you may meet.
- Look for individuals and companies you are interested in and find a way to connect with them.
- Attend industry-specific meetings and conferences to broaden your network.
- Connect with individuals and companies on LinkedIn to learn more about them.
- Keep in touch with your network; you never know what may come of a great relationship you have built.
- Follow up on any networking opportunity with a thank you letter to the person with whom you were networking.
Career and Industry-Related Events
Career events are a convenient and valuable way to meet new members to add to your network. Career Development and Community Engagement is host to many industry-specific career events throughout the year. Use the following links to determine which events align with your career path based on your academic college.