How to Find the Right Job

Finding the job you want takes many steps and involves many decisions.  This checklist is designed to help you along the way and guide you to the appropriate sources.  Be sure to discuss your progress with your career advisor.

Knowing What You Want - The Basics

Choose your ideal work environment-large corporation, small business, government agency, etc.

Choose your ideal location-urban, suburban, or rural.

List your three most useful job skills and know which is your strongest.

Know whether you want to work with people, data, or things.  

Know if you want to work with others or work alone.

List your favorite leisure time activities. 

Know what kind of reward is most important to you in a job-money, security, creative authority, etc.

List some of the main career areas which might interest you.

Know whether you enjoy new projects or prefer following a regular routine.

Researching Career Options

Develop a list of career possibilities to research.

Visit the Career Services to learn about various careers.  The O*NET is a valuable resource.

Consider whether your desired career requires an advanced degree.

Keep up with current trends in your field through trade publications and online sources.

Identify employers interested in interviewing someone with your academic background and experience; create a list of three or more employers in the field you are considering.

Make at least three professional contacts through friends, relatives, or professors to learn more about your field of interest.

Meet with faculty and alumni who work or who have worked in your field to talk about available jobs and the outlook for your field.


Getting Experience

Narrow down the career options you are considering through course work and personal research.

Participate in the Co-op Program or an internship in your chosen field to learn of the daily requirements of the careers you are considering.  Such assignments sometimes lead to permanent job offers following graduation.

Become an active member in one or more professional associations. 

Volunteer for a community or charitable organization to gain further work experiences that can be included on a resume.

Creating a Resume

Form a clear job objective.

Know how your skills and experience support your objective.

Use action verbs to highlight your accomplishments.

Limit your resume to one page and make sure it is free of misspelled words or grammatical errors.

Compose a separate cover letter to accompany each resume and address the letter to a specific person.

Preparing for the Interview

Arrange informational interviews with employees from companies with which you might want to interview.

Use Linkedin or CareerShift to find potential leads.

Thoroughly research each employer with whom you have an interview-be familiar with product lines, services, growth, etc.

Practice your interviewing technique with your career advisor to help prepare for the actual interview.

Using the information you have gathered, formulate questions to ask the employer during the interview.

Arrive on time in professional business attire.

Collect the needed information to write a thank you letter after each interview.