Develop Your Search Strategy

Applying basic marketing principles to your job search can go a long way in driving success. Think of yourself as a unique product. Then use market analysis, planning and implementation to develop your very own customized search strategy. 

Craft Your Plan

Determine your market.

  • Define interests. Use industry research and self-assessment to target job functions, industries and geographic areas. Not all industries recruit in the same way or at the same time. Review our recruiting timeline guide to get an idea of the busiest periods by industry. 
  • Examine requirements. Review job descriptions and details about the organization to develop a list of desirable skills and characteristics. 

Develop your marketing tools.

  • Match skills to needs. Compare the needs and requirements of employers to your own background and qualifications.
  • Define key selling points. These skills and experiences should take center stage in your resume and cover letter(s). 
  • Complete online profiles. Promote your skills, interest and accomplishments on job boards and social platforms.
  • Seek recommendations. Reach out to former professors or employers who can speak to your work ethic and abilities. 
  • Showcase your work. For certain industries, it may be necessary to develop a professional portfolio with work samples.

Identify opportunities and contacts.

  • Be creative. Use a variety of techniques to mine opportunities.
  • Ask for help. Develop contacts within the field who can assist you.
  • Explore openings: 
    • Handshake or UCAN
    • Other online job and internship posting sites
    • Professional association publications, trade or business journals, newspapers
    • Websites, career sites, and online application systems
    • Social media platforms like LinkedIn
  • Mine the hidden market. Up to 80% of openings are unadvertised. Network with alumni and others.

Refine your presentation skills.

  • Plan your introduction. Learn to introduce yourself and interview with confidence.
  • Practice. Take advantage of mock interviews offered through Career Services.

Design an action plan and measure your results.

  • Stay on track. Establish weekly goals for your job search activity.
  • Be organized. Keep a record of contacts and follow-up dates.