How to Find a Job

1. Have a goal. When you tell someone you’re looking for a job, the first thing s/he asks is “What kind of job?” “Anything” is NOT a good answer! You need a one sentence goal statement you can use on your resume and when talking to people. Even if you have to just pick one, it will help get you going and you’re likely to come across something even more interesting during your search. If you aren’t searching, you won’t find anything! If you are truly unsure about the kind of job you want, see How to Choose a Career.
2. Get your tools ready. Draft your Resume and Cover Letter, and practice Interviewing. Have someone else proof your written work! Voicemail and email are important to your search, so be sure your phone message and your email address are professional.
3. Identify 20 potential employers. Use the internet, the Book of Lists (available in Walton 202), old job listings, or professional associations in your field to identify at least twenty organizations that might have a job for you. Research each so you know its products/services and where you might fit in. This is about the same as doing a research paper, as you may notice!
Start at the bottom of your list of 20 (you’ll get better with practice). Call directly and ask who is responsible for hiring recent college graduates (or the head of the appropriate department). Ask that person if s/he anticipates any openings. If s/he does, s/he will invite you to send a resume. If no openings are anticipated, ask if s/he knows of anyone who may be hiring. Send a thank you note to everyone for everything!
4. Make a list of family and friends/acquaintances. Remember, you cannot hire yourself. You’re going to need help. For each person you identify, call and ask if s/he knows anyone you might talk to about a job as XYZ or in the ABC field. Keep careful track of conversations. Send a thank you note to each person who takes the time to talk with you. When you are referred, name the person who referred you when you call. And then ask whether there are any openings. If not, ask for a referral.
5. Keep Careers & Calling aware of your plans so we can pass on any appropriate leads. Bookmark Full Time Jobs on our website and check it weekly!
6. Why chasing jobs online doesn’t always work very well: only 25% of jobs make it onto job posting boards. Ads cost money! It makes sense to spend 75% of your time applying directly to employers, and only 25% of your time answering ads.
7. Follow up any lead immediately. Lots of people are looking for the same job you are. If you hear about a potential opportunity, call IMMEDIATELY. It probably won’t be there a week from now.
8. Stay organized with a “tickler” file. Get 1-31 dividers, or use some kind of electronic organizer. When you tell someone you’ll call in 7 days, move the card or set up a digital reminder, and do it!
9. Spend the time. While you are in school, make 2 calls a day. If you do it right, a job search is an almost full time job. You should spend 4 or 5 hours a day on it. Play and pray the rest of the time!

Back to Top