Job Search Tips

As you delve into your career search, there are some simple ways to increase your chances for success. For additional insight, visit Career Services for a one-on-one with our graduate career adviser.

Prep for Job Search Success

1. Prepare your “two-minute drill or pitch.”

This is a two-minute overview of your research, strengths, accomplishments and career goals. It takes a lot of practice to represent your background in such a short time, but it is your most effective marketing tool. 

2. Target your material.

Spend time composing a targeted and specific cover letter that highlights why the employer should hire you. Emphasize your strengths and how you match the organization's requirements. 

3. Do your research.

Prior to an informational interview, review as much information as you can about the organization and the individual with whom you are meeting. Review their website, research any articles written about the individual or organization and check industry directories that contain briefs and profiles. Understand the standard salary and compensation packages for the position you are seeking. 

4. Always follow-up.

Send a thank you after an interview, after an informational interview — and, in short, after any contact you have. Your thank you can summarize your meeting and can keep you fresh in the minds of those who meet you. Tell them why you are excited about having spoken with them.

5. Practice your interview skills.

Take time to prepare your answers to commonly asked interview questions. Watch yourself on video, or record yourself. Ask your friends or colleagues to practice with you, or meet with a career adviser. The more confident you are talking about your strengths and accomplishments, the better your networking and interviewing skills will be. 

6. Keep records.

Keep a notebook where you record who you contacted and the date, any follow-up, positions you apply for, copies of cover letters and other job search highlight. Keep it with you. This way, if you are contacted for an interview you do not end up in the position of not remembering what the position is for which you applied.

7. Set short-term goals.

Develop a weekly action plan, with your time divided between activities such as contact development, response to advertised positions, follow-up, research and outreach. If you set your goals more short-term, they will be more finite and achievable.