Conducting a Job Search by a282102


									                             CONDUCTING A JOB SEARCH
Graduation will equip you with a university degree and many marketable skills, but it is vital you
understand the components of a successful job search.

How long will it take for me to find a job?
Most students find the job search process takes a few months, so it is smart to begin four to six
months before graduation. It is important to realize that finding a job requires planning and
effort, so speak with a Career Counselor early in your senior year to learn the specifics of finding
a job in your desired field. If you are a May graduate, know that the Fall Career & Internship
Fair is made up of many employers seeking applicants to begin the following June or July.

There are many costs associated with a job search, including resume preparation, interview
clothes, business cards, postage, telephone calls and travel. Manage your job search investments
by looking for clothing sales and using toll free numbers when possible to contact corporate
headquarters. Do not randomly send out dozens of resumes. It is costly, and does not usually
yield good results. Also, only print a few resumes on quality bond paper at one time, in case you
need to tweak your resume to fit a particular opportunity.

Another financial consideration is how you will support yourself while looking for a job. This is
a good reason to begin before graduation. Consider economical living arrangements (roommate,
moving home). Think about your employment situation in the interim before you find your “real
job”. Temporary agencies can provide a paycheck and valuable experience. Part-time jobs can
bring in income and still allow you to devote time to your job search.

Consider internships prior to graduation, as they are beneficial to job searches in numerous ways.
For more information, see a Career Counselor. Typically completed during junior and senior
years, internships can:
-       Give you insight into a particular career
-       Provide hands-on experience, which will be reflected in your resume
-       Put you in touch with prospective employers by making you a known commodity (many
        employers use internships as a trial run for potential hires).

                                                                     Y:\smay\Handouts\Conducting a Job Search
The Ground Work
Do you know exactly what kind of work you would like to do? What kind of company or
industry you would consider? How to get a foot in the door? Consider the following.

STUDY YOURSELF It will be difficult to find a job until you set goals for yourself, so begin
by considering the career path you desire. Ultimately, you’ll want a position that will use your
talents, provide a satisfying environment and build a solid foundation for your career. Consider
these common interview questions…“Why did you choose your major?” and “What positions are
you interested in and why?”

You may want to make use of one or several of the career assessments or information programs
offered through UCO Career Services. Utilizing one or more of these self-assessments will give
you a list of suggested career options tailored to your personal profile, which will assist you in
writing your professional resume, searching for jobs, and interviewing.

      For specific occupational information (including salary), utilize eDISCOVER online, and
       you don’t need an appointment for the information-only aspect.
      For a quick self-assessment fill out the Self-Directed Search (SDS) booklet and enter your
       scores into the SDS program in the Career Library (no appointment needed).
      For a more in-depth self-assessment use the eDISCOVER Self-Assessment. Visit the
       office to pick up the guidebook and schedule an appointment.
      For additional assessments try the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator or the Campbell Interest
       and Skill Survey. Visit the office to pick up the guidebook and schedule an appointment.

ASSESS YOUR SKILLS When hiring for a position, an employer is seeking a particular set of
skills. Do you know what you have to offer a prospective employer? If not, it is wise to visit
Career Services to complete self-assessments, which will help you clarify your abilities, interests
and work personality (see the section above).

Also, speak with a Career Counselor, read job descriptions in your field, think about what you
like and what you do well. Common attributes that employers from many professions seek
-Communication skills
-Interpersonal skills
-Strong work ethic
-Ability to work independently and as part of a team
-Commitment to the company (the job is more than a paycheck)
-Computer/Technical abilities
-Flexibility/Adaptability to change

WHERE ARE YOU HEADED? You must have a plan when you begin your job search. Since
job searches require a lot of effort, you will save time and avoid frustration if you know where
you are going. Ask yourself:
     What career field am I seeking?
     Do I want to remain in this city, state, country…or will I move for a job?
     Is graduate school an option?
     Do I want to work in the private sector? Government? (Which industry?)
     With what kind of clientele do I want to work?
     In what kind of environment would I be most comfortable (fast-track, laid back, etc.)?
     What are my work values and where will they be fulfilled (money, altruism, security,
     Which employers hire people with my major?
     What does my degree qualify me to do?
     What are the job titles of people who do the kind of work I would like to do?

INFORMATIONAL INTERVIEWS An Informational Interview is an excellent way to learn
more about actual work environments, as well as to locate job opportunities. An Informational
Interview is not an actual job interview. It is a method whereby you discover how to prepare
yourself for a given field, make employer contacts, gain leads on job openings and see if a
company is the right "fit" for you. Sample Informational Interview questions include:

   1.    How did you get started in the field? or What has your career path been?
   2.    If you could start all over again today in launching your career, what steps would you take?
   3.    What do you do in a typical day?
   4.    What entry-level jobs are best for learning as much as possible?
   5.    What do you enjoy most or least about your job?
   6.    Are there any special considerations for someone embarking on a career in the field?
   7.    How did you prepare yourself for what you are doing?
   8.    What educational background, experience and skills are necessary for success in the career field?
   9.    What types of projects do you work on?
   10.   What types of people do you work with?

Develop Job Search Skills
Applying for jobs . . . networking . . . informational interviewing. All of these require that you
overcome inhibitions. You will need to be able to approach prospective employers, learn how to
market yourself and engage others in conversation. If you have never been through the job
search process, or if it has been a while since you made these types of contacts, practice your
conversational skills. A speech class, active involvement in campus or community
organizations, or groups such as 'Toastmasters” can help develop speaking ability.

How are your writing skills? You will be preparing resumes and cover letters, filling out job
applications, and writing thank you notes. Remember to be meticulous in spelling, neatness,
grammar and phrasing. Employers are seeking job applicants who can write well!

Finally, your organizational skills must be well developed in order to conduct a successful job
search. The Job Search Plan below addresses the tools, time and tenacity you will need to secure
a job.

Job Search Plan
THE JOB SEARCH KIT You’ll use certain tools to assist you.
   Professional contacts you can approach for letters of recommendation
   A resume and a sample cover letter (to help you write actual ones faster when needed)
   A reference page (listing current information for your professional contacts)
   A filing system to track who you spoke to and when, and the next action to be taken
      (index card holder / spiral notebook, etc.)
   Several original transcripts (best to get several at one time)

Now that you’ve considered what you have to offer an employer, and you’ve decided the types
of organizations you would like to approach, you need to develop a plan of action.

      Set goals about how many employers you will contact each week/month. It takes time to
       arrange face-to-face contact with employers, and is sometimes not possible or
       appropriate. Learn to leave good voice mail messages, which should always include your
       name as it appears on your resume, your phone number with area code and specifically
       what position you are interested in or if you want an informational interview, or whatever
       else you are calling about.
      Keep looking until you accept a position, even if you have several promising job leads.
       No interview assures a job, so continue to seek contacts even if you are scheduled for
      Budget your time so you can customize every cover letter, attend interviews, set up and
       do informational interviews, search your trade’s internet sites for job listings, etc.
      Track your actions by using a filing system to record important information on contacts.
       Remember, follow up is as important as the initial contact. Example…
       Ms. Jessica Doe, Vice President, Bigtime Bank
       100 Skyscraper - Suite 12, Oklahoma City, OK 71234, (405) 555-1212, e-mail:; date of last contact: May 10th, submitted resume on (specific date); follow up 1 week later

WHERE ARE THE JOBS? It is crucial that you know where to look for opportunities.
Interacting with your friends, family, professors and others is a primary source of learning about
job leads. Every one you come in contact with should know you are looking for a job in a
certain field, as you never know where the tips will come from.

      Network Friends, family, professors, Career Services staff, co-workers, and student and
       professional organizations are examples of the sources who can put you in touch with job
       prospects. Be assertive in telling others who you are and what you want.
      Register with UCO Career Services Registration gives you on-campus interviewing
       privileges, allows you to view and apply for job listings online through the College
       Central Network, and provides access to the Resume Referral system.
      Use the Career Library Research employers and various aspects of organizations with
       printed materials provided in the Career Library.
      Newspapers and trade publications
      Temporary agencies

      Professional organizations Remember to seek out student chapters and professionals in
       the city you wish to work and live. This includes viewing their professional journals
      Internet For Oklahoma Job Listings and additional internet resources, select the Career
       Resources section, Internet Career Links.
      Employment agencies (usually for upper management positions)
      City, state and federal government jobs are posted through government websites

MAKE CONTACT The best way to be considered for a position is to make personal contact
with the employer. Find out who does the hiring at the company. Is it the Human Resources
office? The head of a specific department? Ideally, you must work to arrange a preliminary
meeting with someone from the organization. Do keep in mind that often a preliminary meeting
is not appropriate and possibly against the policy of the hiring organization.

Each organization has its own method of hiring. In your filing system, make a note about
whether you should call a job hotline, visit the Human Resources office to look at position
notices, or view job listings through the company website. Also make notes of how to submit an
application – in person, online, through mail or e-mail.

Be prepared whenever you approach an employer. Dress professionally, take copies of your
resume in a dark (i.e. conservative) folder, and know what you want to say to promote yourself
for the position. You may ask about hiring opportunities and be able to ask questions, so have
them ready. Watch for body language cues or conversation patterns to determine when it is over.

      It is who you know and what you know that will get you a job
      The search can take approximately six months, so be certain to begin early.
      Be tenacious in your job search, but remember to have patience
      Remember to thank the people who help you along the way
      Don't take rejection personally, or become discouraged by it
      Set realistic goals. Many employers tell us that there is a lot of opportunity for today's
       college graduates, but you cannot expect to start at the top. Everyone has to begin at the
       entry level. Many companies will start prospective managers out in a 'hands on' type of
       position (sales, repair, assembly line, reservations) with the expectation that they learn
       the business from the ground up.
      Your attitude is important. Be positive and treat everyone with respect. For example, the
       receptionist you hand your resume to is likely a trusted, valued assistant to the employer.
       The way you treat that person is an indication of how you would treat co-workers, a boss,
       or clients.
      No one is guaranteed full-time employment. However, by conducting a methodical and
       well planned job search and by using every resource possible, you will find more
       opportunities for success.
      Visit UCO Career Services’ Career Library for many more resources.

                    Questions? Contact UCO Career Services at 405-974-3346
                           or visit NUC 338 or


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