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"How to" Career Skills Guides

Finding the perfect job is not always an easy thing to do. Check out the “how to” information below and then look at the listed websites for hints to make your job search easy.

How to find a job
How to prepare a resume
How to get ready for an interview


How to Find a Job 



1. Know what you want. If you don't have a clear idea of the career field and type of work that you're interested in, then you're putting yourself at a big disadvantage. If you need assistance with your choice of career, you can speak with a Career Advisor or check out our Discover Your Path page
2. Use a variety of job search strategies. Read (and use!) the Job Search Strategies listed below, and speak with a Career Advisor.
3. Have as much personal contact with real people as possible. If all you're doing is applying to jobs listed online, then you're just another piece of paper in a big stack of resumes on someone's desk.
4. Make personal contact with hiring managers wherever possible. This may mean following up your application with a phone call.

STRATEGY 1: Identify promising organizations in your career field or industry, then visit their Web sites.
WHY? "Most successful job-search contacts made online happened directly at corporate Web sites, not through job boards." - CareerXRoads Organizations only pay to advertise their hard-to-fill jobs. The rest of their job openings may be posted to their Web site. This process, along with networking, is the best and most overlooked job-hunting strategy.

STRATEGY 2: Use networking contacts.
WHY? Employers in many industries never list their jobs anywhere. This includes nonprofits, the various communications fields, consulting, investment banking, and others. Networking opens the door to a lot of job openings you would never otherwise know about. In addition, by networking you can learn a lot about breaking into your chosen career field, identify top employers, and meet some great people.

STRATEGY 3: Temp work leading to full-time employment
WHY? Many people find excellent, full-time, long-term positions through their temp jobs. Temping allows you to make a livable salary while you size up the company prior to making a commitment.

STRATEGY 4: Career and job fairs
WHY? Career and job fairs offer the opportunity to meet many employers in one fell swoop.

STRATEGY 5: Internships
WHY? To break into some career fields, you almost have to have done an internship in that field (advertising, public relations, book publishing and others). In addition, employers love to hire their good interns into full-time jobs after graduation.

STRATEGY 6: Posting your resume to resume banks on the Internet
WHY? In certain industries, particularly the high tech ones, your resume may be viewed by employers who would not otherwise know you exist. Post your resume on free!

Below are a few job search etiquette tips which will demonstrate your professionalism to prospective employers.

  • Make sure that your answering machine or voice mail messages are professional, not “cutsie” or too personalized.  
  • Be honest during interviews.
  • Be respectful of the other person’s time.
  • Always address someone formally unless you are told otherwise.
  • Always acknowledge an employer’s communication with you.
  • If you miss a recruiter’s call, return it as soon as possible.
  • Be prepared and on time for interviews.
  • Respect deadlines
  • Do not use an offer from one organization as leverage against another organization.
  • Respond graciously to all offers whether you accept the position or not.
  • Do not accept an offer and then turn it down at a later date.
  • Never burn a bridge—you may need these contacts for networking purposes later in your career.
  • Express genuine appreciation for the employer’s interest in you and your skills.
  • Do not forget thank you notes—for a person’s willingness to help you network, providing contact names/information, and granting informational interviews, job interviews, etc. Job Search Tips
Career One Stop Job Search Tips


How to Prepare a Resume  


Resume Do's

  • Do use bold/CAPS to make all section headings stand out
  • Do start every skills statement with a strong verb
  • Do revise your resume for each position
  • Do organize your resume so the most relevant information is at the top
  • Do expand on points related to the position and condense less relevant information
  • Do use resume quality paper

Resume Don'ts

  • Don't use the word "resume" 
  • Don't use the word "I" 
  • Don't include salary information 
  • Don't include job references as part of the resume itself 
  • Don't include testimonials 
  • Don't give personal statistics or profile 
  • Don't include photographs 
  • Don't use too many fonts or font sizes

Resume Help


How to Get Ready for an Interview



Do Your Homework  The only thing that will make the interview jitters go away is preparation.

Do Ask Questions  Again, use your research to show that you are well prepared and ask questions that show your interest in the company. But do NOT ask about salary or benefits in the first meeting unless the interviewer brings them up.

Don't Lie  Honesty really is the best policy. Be truthful but do not offer information they don’t ask about.

Don't Over-Personalize   It is important to know who you are you want the employer to understand how you--the individual--will fit into the overall picture of the company. Understanding your strengths and weaknesses will help you professionally. Give enough information to show how you can add to the company, but don’t go into great detail.

Questions You Can Ask In An Interview

It’s ok for you to ask questions during an interview, too. You can use these questions to show interest and enthusiasm, as well as a lead-in to information you want to give.

Regarding job content:

  • What are the key responsibilities for this position?
  • What characteristics do you most like to find in people on this assignment?
  • Is this a new position?
  • What do you consider ideal experience for this job?
  • Is there anything unusually demanding about the job I should know about?
  • Could you tell me about the people I would be working with?
  • What are the primary results you would like to see me produce?
  • What re the travel requirements for this job?

Questions for after the interviewer has indicated intent to hire:

  • Could you tell me about your benefits program?
  • How does the company performance evaluation system work?
  • How often are performance evaluations done?
  • Is there a formal salary/bonus review? How does it work?
    Ø Does the company have an education benefit program? How does it work?

If the employer is undecided, don’t pressure:

  • May I check back with you on (day of the week)?
  • Can you give me an idea of when you expect to make a decision?

If the employer says “no”, keep the door open and brides unburned:

  • I like what you are doing. Could you keep my qualifications on hand for other openings in your department, or referral to others?
  • If the situation changes, please let me know.

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