Job Search Strategy
The key to a successful job search strategy is knowing what career field you are interested in pursuing. You must clearly define:
- The type of positions or type of work you want
- Industries you want to work within
- Geographical location(s) you are willing to consider
- The size of company you prefer
If you are still not sure of the career field(s) that interest you, start with ACA Guide to Career Exploration.
Once you have clearly defined the types of jobs you want, you can start creating your job search strategy. Your strategy must include:
Locating Job Openings
The way you locate job openings will vary based on your career choice. If you are not sure how a job search is done for your specific field, consider conducting informational interviews, speaking with a career advisor or your professors, or looking for strategies online. Some common ways to find job openings:
Network either in-person or online.
- Tell everyone you know (friends, family, professors, supervisors, co-workers, people you serve, people you meet) the type of job(s) for which you are looking to be hired. You never know when someone will know of an opening or have a connection to a company or industry.
- Contact KSC's Office of Alumni and Parent Relations to locate alumni working in your career field and/or company of interest
- Join professional associations and attend their meetings/conferences
- Use the power of social media to connect with a professional network. Use sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.
Find online job posting boards or websites. To locate both general or career niche-specific sites use:
- Google - in the search bar type: the career field/job title/ + careers/jobs. For example: public relations jobs
- Join groups on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter that provide job listings or suggested job sites
- ACA's online resource guide
- What Can I do with a Major in…
- Websites of the professional organizations within your career field
Use KSC's Job Wise. Local, regional, and national companies and organizations post job openings to recruit KSC students and alumni for various openings. These include part-time positions for pay while you are in school; summer jobs for either experience or pay; internships related to your field of study (paid and unpaid), as well as career opportunities when you are ready to graduate.
Locate and develop a list of companies for which you would be interested in working. Locate the companies through online searches and local Chambers of Commerce.
- View the company website to search for openings
- Contact companies directly by either phone or by emailing/mailing your résumé. Through direct company contact you may learn about an opening before it is posted. If you email or mail the company your résumé, you must follow-up with a phone call.
Attend Career Fairs. Visit ACA's Events page to learn about on-campus and off-campus job and internship fairs. Look for additional job fairs online or through local papers.
Look at the classified ads (either online or hard copy) in local newspapers. Not sure what newspapers are available? Use newspapers.com to locate local and regional newspapers.
Before applying for a job, you should know something about an organization and its needs. Your research will be useful in writing résumés and cover letters, preparing for interviews, and discovering what companies are looking for in employees.
What do you want to learn through your research?
- Information on the products, services, or clients of the organization
- History of the company and/or its organizational culture
- Mission and goals of the company
- Upcoming events /promotions / newsworthy happenings
- Financial statistics and expected growth
- Geographical location(s) of offices
- Types of career paths in your field
- Current issues and trends in the industry/field
How do you conduct this research?
- Visit the company's website
- Use online sites such as Hoovers.com, Standardandpoors.com, Vault.com, Guidestar.com and newslink.org
- Google the company
- Talk with people who work there: alumni, friends, family, social networking connections
With all the information you gather and the different jobs for which you apply, it will be difficult to keep track of what you have done. You want to create a system that records the contacts you have had with an organization. Your records should include: names of contacts, dates of contacts, materials sent (résumés, cover-letters, thank-you notes), titles of jobs to which you applied, interview dates, follow-up materials sent, and referrals made.
Develop a tracking system that works for you!
Looking for a job is hard work and takes time. Don't get discouraged if you do not have a job within the first couple of weeks of your job search. Think of the search itself as a job, be persistent, and stay positive and confident.
If you are not getting any responses to the résumés s you sent, or any offers after job interviews, schedule an appointment with an ACA career advisor.
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Academic and Career Advising Office
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Keene, New Hampshire 03435