Research the Employer
Details like the size of the organization, office/branch locations, financial standing and training/ professional development programs are all important to know. Research will educate you about the organization, help you decide if it is the company you would like to work for and help to impress potential interviewers.
Find information describing your target organizations using resources such as:
▪ Professional and business directories
▪ The employer’s website, literature, annual reports and other brochures
▪ Use online resources to read news about a particular organization
▪ Newspapers and professional periodicals can be very helpful
▪ Network with people working in/or familiar with the organization
Blanketing organizations with your résumé at random is never a good strategy. Show your interest by targeting specific organizations through emails, online networking, phone calls, letters and personal contacts. You might try conducting an informational interview, just to learn about an organization and discuss job opportunities. Don’t expect the employers to contact you for a job, as it almost never happens.
You must be proactive and take the initiative to make connections with an organization before an employer will be interested in you. Be patient, but be persistent. Follow up at all levels because few managers will contact you, even after sending a résumé and cover letter. If the company has no openings available, ask when you can call them back in the future.
Nearly 80% of jobs are found through networking. Building relationships is an important aspect of the job search process.
One of the best ways for any job seeker to uncover career opportunities is through networking. Make as many contacts as you can with people in all types of businesses and industries related to your chosen career field. Join a professional association. Conduct informational interviews. Keep in touch with former employers, professors, classmates, interns, or supervisors – anyone who could be a potential lead for a job.
LinkedIn is a great tool for networking with employers and professionals in almost every career path. You can think of it as a professional version of Facebook. To begin networking with employers through LinkedIn:
▪ Create an account at linkedin.com.
▪ Join groups.
▪ Be social. Share articles, and interact on discussion boards. Both are great ways to be seen and make connections.
Twitter can be a tremendous tool for networking and researching career fields. Follow people and organizations you are interested in to learn the latest information and get in conversations. Participate in live chats to connect with professionals and attract potential employers. Before you get started, make sure you understand how to use Twitter in a professional way.
*An increasing number of recruiters today view candidates’ social networking pages for screening purposes. Keep it clean!
Finding opportunities to gain experience can help increase your chances of getting a job after graduation. We can help you identify these kinds of experiences!
Job shadowing is a career exploration activity that offers an opportunity to spend time with a professional currently working in a person’s career field of interest. Job shadowing offers a chance to see what it’s actually like working in a specific job. Not only do those who job shadow get to observe the day-to-day activities of someone in the current workforce, they also get a chance to have their questions answered.
Your shadow experience is an opportunity to inquire about factual data (like hours and salary range), skill and educational requirements, related occupations, typical career paths, and what is most and least satisfying about the work. In addition, you’ll likely have the opportunity to observe the work environment and obtain information about pace and general working conditions. Use your shadow visit wisely to get all of your questions answered. It’s important that you prepare in advance a list of questions to ask during your visit.
Volunteering is another great way for you to gain work experience and build your résumé while in school.
▪ Help you to explore career options to determine how well that career path “fits”
▪ Provide an opportunity to assume responsibility of a project or task that can enhance your résumé
▪ Offer a means of demonstrating your special talents, skills and willingness to work
▪ Help fulfill the mission or operational needs of an organization or company
An internship is a wonderful and effective way to connect your academic experience with the professional work arena. It allows you to gain valuable exposure to the workplace, provides the opportunity for skill development and gives you a competitive edge in the job search.
For more information on internships, visit Polk State’s internship website: polk.edu/interns