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Your Quick Guide Checklist to Finding the Right Job

How to Find the Right Job

Finding the job you want takes many steps and often involves a lot of decision-making. With so many factors to keep track of it can lead to numerous documents and endless running lists which can feel stressful and overwhelming. That’s why here at The Career & Co-op Center, we like to keep this quick guide checklist that highlights several areas of the job process from figuring out what you want through applying for the job . It is a great resource to keep track of everything you need to consider when finding a job, all in one place. Of course, we also suggest that in addition to using this resource, you can always set up an appointment with a career adviser.

Knowing What You Want

  • Choose your ideal work environment – large corporation, small business, government agency or non-profit organization.
  • Choose your ideal location – urban, suburban or rural.
  • List your three most useful job skills and know which is your strongest.
  • Know whether you want to work with people, data or things.
  • Know if you want to work with others or work alone.
  • Know whether you enjoy new projects or prefer following a regular routine.
  • List some of the main career areas that might interest you.
  • List your favorite leisure time activities.
  • Know what kind of reward is most important to you in a job – money, security, creative authority, etc.

Need more support? Career Services & Cooperative Education Center can help you figure out what you want. Visit the resources available to Explore Your Interest.

Researching Career Options

  • Develop a list of career possibilities to research.
  • Utilize the “What can I do with this major?” resource on our website.
  • Learn about various careers by accessing available Job Trends Data, in addition to valuable resources like MyNextMove and the Occupational Outlook Handbook.
  • Consider whether your desired career requires an advanced degree.
  • Keep up with current trends in your field through trade publications and news/business magazines and newspapers.
  • Identify employers interested in interviewing someone with your academic background and experience; create a list of three or more employers in the field you are considering.
  • Make at least three professional contacts through friends, relatives or professors to learn more about your field of interest.
  • Meet with faculty and alumni who work or who have worked in your field to talk about available jobs and the outlook for your field.

The Career & Co-op Center can provide several research sources about careers and employers. Start by selecting Explore Career Options at the top of this page.

Getting Experience

  • Narrow the career options you are considering through course work and personal research.
  • Participate in a work experience or internship program in your chosen field to learn of the daily requirements of the careers you are considering. Such assignments sometimes lead to permanent job offers following graduation.
  • Become an active member in one or more professional associations.
  • Volunteer for a community or charitable organization to gain further work experience. Volunteer positions can and should be included on your resume.
  • Learn about available opportunities by selecting the Gain Experience option at the top of this page.

Creating a Resume

  • Form a clear job objective.
  • Know how your skills and experience support your objective.
  • Use action verbs to highlight your accomplishments.
  • Limit your resume to one page and make sure it is free of misspelled words and grammatical errors.
  • Create your resume using a word-processing program (but avoid pre-designed templates). Print the document on white or off-white high-quality paper.
  • Compose a customized cover letter to accompany each resume and address the letter to a specific person. Avoid sending a letter which begins “Dear Sir/Madam.”
  • Have your resume and cover letter reviewed by a Career Peer during Drop-In hours.
  • Visit our Resume and Cover Letter resources to get started.

Preparing for the Interview

  • Arrange informational interviews with employees from companies with which you might want to interview. Use your network of acquaintances to schedule these meetings.
  • Thoroughly research each employer with whom you have an interview; be familiar with product lines, services offered and growth prospects.
  • Practice your interviewing techniques with friends or schedule a practice interview at the Career & Co-op Center to help prepare for the actual interview.
  • Using the information you have gathered, formulate questions to ask the employer during the interview.
  • Arrive on time in professional business attire.
  • Collect the needed information to write a thank-you letter after each interview.
  • Also, collect business cards from everyone you meet with to ensure that you have accurate contact information.
  • Learn how to prepare for an interview and access valuable resources available to you.

Finding the right job means going through many steps. Still, if you do, you’ll be better set up to find a role you can grow with at an organization that aligns with your interests personally and professionally.

By Jessy Abramson
Jessy Abramson Career Advisor, Career Services