Getting Started with Your Search
It is true that it takes work to find work. However, if you practice a variety of
both reactive and proactive search methods, stay organized, and stay motivated it
will all be worth it. You can begin proactive methods sooner to make connections in
your industry and set yourself up for a favorable application process. You can also
use them at the same time as reactive strategies to optimize your time and effort.
If you are already employed but looking to make a change in your current company or to find a new opportunity, you could need to keep a low profile during the search. Proactive methods will still be essential in this process but may require a deeper strategy or plan of execution.
Online Job & Internship Search Resources
When it comes to using online resources, general job boards are helpful but you should
also find ways to narrow your search tools by things like location, industry, or job
function. This way your search is more tailored to what you want. These tools are
also helpful in doing broader research on a company so you have more insight into
salary, organizational structure, and company culture.
If reentering the workforce after an extended time engaging in other opportunities,
an updated resume will be vital for these methods of the search. You will want to
ensure the resume and cover letter are telling your story in a way that is transferrable and highlight
that success skills you have that can be applied to your desire positions or industry. Check out that Resume section of the website and schedule an appointment to speak
1-1 with a career counselor.
Your search methods must include ways connect with others, identify the hidden job
market, and build your brand. This way you are not just reacting to what is posted
online but proactively putting yourself in the job market to be discovered. Examples
of proactive methods include:
- Focus on Relationships: Leverage your network and stay connected to mentors and colleagues
to get direct referrals and introductions.
- Target Employers: Research companies that interest you. Identify your connections
and reach out to current employees or the decision makers of the organization.
- Ask for information, not a job: Find someone who inspires you and ask for a short
information interview in-person, over the phone, or via e-mail.
- Build an online presence: LinkedIn is an easy place to start your brand and opens
the door for employers to seek you out.
Career Changers: It is important to reflect on your current position and future opportunities. If you are looking to stay at the company but make a change in your role, identify
the right people to talk to about a transition. Know what you want and be prepared to show your value so that they understand why
your plan is a good move for the company.
If you are looking to change companies or pursue a different industry it will be vital to evaluate your network. If your connections are unaware of your career shift, they will not know how they could best help you. Remember, what may appear to be a
weak tie could trigger a chain of connections that lead you to a strong network opportunity.
Offers & Negotiations
This final step of your search may seem like the easiest; however, it is important
to take time and evaluate the offer before making a decision.
Many individuals are looking to grow within their company and that is what has brought
them to pursuing a graduate degree. It is a great idea to talk with your employer
to see how your continued education could impact your current employment contract,
be leveraged into an advanced role, or possibly be finically covered by the company.
Here are a few key elements to remember during any negotiation:
- Ask for time to consider the offer. It is completely acceptable to ask for at least
- Use that time to evaluate and prepare questions or negotiations
- Research average salaries and know your worth
- Remember to consider all benefits (time off, retirement package, insurance, etc.)
not just wage or salary
- Think outside the box, you may be surprised about what is negotiable (start date,
bonuses, work schedule, etc.)
- Get the final offer in writing and accept it in writing
Remember you are in the driver's seat, the organization wants you to join their team
and are often expecting negotiations.
Offer & Negotiation Tips
One last thing to remember, not every job you interview for will be the right fit
for you and that is okay! You can professionally decline and offer without damaging
your connections or future opportunities.
Sample Acceptance/Decline Letters