Prepare for your Job Search
First, have your resume buffed, polished, and representing the professional you are.
Second, since the body of your cover letter is custom based on the job description of the position you are applying for, create the standard stock parts of your cover letter now, such as:
Introductory paragraph example: This is in response to your position posted for <job title>. I have outlined my high level qualifications below for your consideration and included my resume for your review.
Closing paragraph example: I look forward to a discussion with you regarding how I might contribute to the success of the <company name> and their <department, team, special project the job will work on, or the customers they serve>.
Third, we highly recommend you find a Job Search Buddy, preferably not in the same major or looking for the same job – no competition here just real support for your job search process which will require determination and stamina. You both agree to meet every week on the same day, preferably Friday, for you to report in on what activities you completed the past week to secure a job. Make your job search effort visible and accountable to another person weekly who can cheer you on or chew you out.
Plan and Get Organized!
We are going to now discuss how you organize and track your job search. First, read this discussion so you understand the pieces to your job search strategy. You can download the Job Search Strategy and Planning Worksheets discussed here to use. After you understand this process you might want to consider using www.jibberjobber.com an online free career management/job search website to track your job search. Watch the introductory video to get an understanding of what it has to offer. It also has video tutorials and a webinar for additional instructions.
- Create a list of target companies or organizations you would like to work for. Do your job search research. Visit the Careers By Major section of the site. Select your major and look at the Research Resources. Visit the Job Search section of the site to view additional job search research resources including those that Post University’s Traurig Library has university subscriptions to.
- Identify a list of job search websites where you can create job search agents to run daily. Visit the Career Services website. Look at the Job Search Engines under the Job Search tab for ideas as well as the Careers by Major tab - find your major and job search engines which are specific to your major. Associations in your major will also have job postings. You will want to setup job search agents on these job search engines to email you daily of any matches to your job request. You will also want to post your resume on multiple job search website to gain additional visibility, such as Linkedin, Monster, Careerbuilder, as well as to ResumeGPS on the Post University Online Career Tools site at www.post.optimalresume.com where 30,000 national employers search for graduate’s resume.
- Before you start applying for jobs, create a paper folder to store the printed job descriptions and write on them the date you applied for the job. Create a summary sheet to keep a running list of all the jobs you have applied for. You don’t want to apply twice for the same job and you don’t want to miss out on applying for a special job you “think” you already applied for.
- Brainstorm and create a contact list for networking job leads. Possible networking contacts could be: former employers, past associates, professional associations, friends and relatives, neighbors, business owners, salespeople, bankers, lawyers and accountants, college and school friends, doctors and dentists, clergy, club members, common interest associates, and others you might think of from your life style. Keep track of your contacts and the results from your meetings with them.
Also look for social networking groups relating to jobs in your major that you can join to meet new people, ask questions, and get some insider information. Career networking groups are on linked, facebook, and yahoo for starters.
- Watch for job fairs announced on the internet or emailed to students from Career Services and posted on our bulletin board outside of the Career Center office. These are great opportunities to meet people from interesting companies, network with them, and practice your “60 Second Commercial or Elevator Pitch” that you create at Harvard Business School’s Elevator Pitch Builder http://www.alumni.hbs.edu/careers/pitch/
Now Just Do IT!
All your preparation and planning will pay off as you begin to make and follow weekly plans, meet with your Job Search Buddy to help keep your momentum going, and keep your eyes and ears open for any new opportunities and people to network with.
Weekly Marketing Campaign Plan
Plan each week what you want to act on to bring your future job closer to reality. At the end of the week update your plan, assess how much you accomplished, and plan the next week. Review with your Job Search Buddy! Keep going!