Your individual job search strategy needs to be tailored to your individual situation. The following tips are good guidelines for everyone, whether you are seeking an internship, co-op, or permanent position, whether you are an undergraduate or graduate student. Throughout your job search, we are here to assist you through advising.

Understand the types of jobs that would be a fit for your skills and qualifications and interests and the settings and industries where you can find those jobs.

Even if you are pursuing multiple options, keep your job search efforts targeted when you communicate with employers.

If you tell an employer you are seeking any job, with any type of employer, doing anything, you will not be successful, because employers are seeking focus.

Researching employers can help you focus.

If you need career exploration, see what can I do with my major? and info about careers and the job market.

If you limit your job search to just one method (e.g. just looking on one website; just looking at one organization, etc.), you will limit your options. Not every kind of job or industry is represented in every job search method. 

For example there are many jobs you will not find through the On-Campus Interviewing Program, and there are many jobs you will not find posted on job boards online. While many employers do visit campus to recruit, many more do not.

If you want to maximize your options, use a variety of search tools.

That means at the beginning of your final year if you're completing your degree, and it means in fall if you're looking for a summer internship.

Some employers look for hires and recruit many months in advance of the anticipated work-start date.

If you don't start early, don't stress over this. Just start where you are and move forward. 

Notice the plural on "others." Don't limit yourself to one source.

  • Talk to faculty in your department.
  • Talk to students who will graduate (or have graduated) ahead of you.
  • Talk to members of your professional associations and student chapters of professional organizations.
  • See how employed grads found jobs, by college. The source for many graduates is networking.

Some students have a major that equals a job title. Many don't. Learn to think about occupations, career fields, industries, and kinds of employers, including businesses, non-profits, and government agencies. Research careers and industries.

If you have success in finding jobs to which to apply, but are missing essential job search skills, you may undermine your opportunity for success. You will be judged and evaluated on all your actions in a job search: phone use, email, hard copy correspondence, resume, your online presence, your interviewing skills, handshake, dining etiquette and more. Know the skills before you start contacting employers.

A job search is hard work. Sometimes it looks like others might have an easier time finding jobs, but that perception can be deceiving. Work and effort are part of the process. Your motivation and attitude are the keys to your success. Expect to put in as much work, for two semesters, as a challenging 3-credit class in which you want to get an A. It's worth that to you.