Job Search Resources
There are many resources available in the Career Center to help you with your job search. We encourage you to schedule an appointment with a career counselor to help you launch your job search action plan.
Developing an effective job search strategy is much more than uploading your resume to a couple of sites and waiting for the interview offers to come in. Consider these tips to get you organized:
Stand Out From the Job Search Crowd
When job searching gets even a little tough, it’s more important than usual to make sure that you stand out from the job searching crowd and show the hiring manager that you are a candidate who definitely should be selected for an interview.
What can you do to get noticed? It’s not as hard as you might think. Your application materials, have to be perfect, of course, and you will need to use your connections to help get an “in” at the company. You’ll also need to actively market your candidacy and yourself, rather than waiting for a new job to find you.
How to Be a Compelling Candidate
Write a Targeted Resume
This is more time-consuming than just having one resume that you use to apply for every job. However, it works. Taking the time to edit or rewrite your resume so it matches the qualifications for the job to which you’re applying will show the hiring manager that you have the credentials for the job and should be considered for an interview.
Write a Targeted Cover Letter
Write a cover letter that shows, at a glance, why you are a strong match for the job. Don’t repeat your resume, rather highlight your relevant skills to the skills the employer is seeking. Highlight your professional qualifications that match the hiring requirements. You have only a few seconds to catch the hiring manager’s attention, so use them wisely.
Build Your Professional Brand
Sometimes, like it or not, many recruiters Google search social media for information on candidates even before they schedule an interview. You will want to make sure that everything they find when they search social media and everything related to you on the professional and networking sites (like LinkedIn and Facebook) is information that is presentable to the public. Also, be sure to edit and actively use your profile on LinkedIn since many recruiters use Linkedin to advertise positions and source candidates so your connections know you are available for career and/or job opportunities.
Don’t just hide behind your computer to make connections. Talk with faculty, join professional organizations, participate in professional conferences and community activities, volunteer – you never know who you are going to meet who has colleagues and friends in your chosen field. Buffalo and WNY is a small town – get to know your community!
Remember that old saying “He who hesitates is lost” – it’s true. Employers don’t wait forever for applicants to submit their resume, so when you find a job listing that’s a good match, apply immediately. Know that the job search takes time – apply to any and all positions of interest. Don’t apply to one job, wait to hear, then apply to another one after. Have an active and robust job search strategy! Contact an Academic & Career Advisor to help you figure out an effective game plan.
Practice Make Perfect
Practice before you go for an interview. Review typical interview questions and research the company so you are well-prepared to interview. Schedule a practice interview in Advisement & Career Services so you know what you want to say and can see how you say it. Have interview clothes ready (dry cleaned, shoes polished, etc.) so you’re ready to interview professionally at a moment’s notice.
Send a Thank You Note
Don’t forget to follow up with a thank you note reiterating your interest in the job. Most candidates don’t bother, but those that do are more likely to get hired. Adapted from Alison Doyle at about.com
Resumes & Cover Letters
Your resume and cover letters are marketing tools to help employers see how your skills, education, experiences and passion for your work will fit with their organization. Your goal is to compel them enough in your candidacy to invite you in for an interview. The links below are guides to help you organize your documents before you schedule time with a professional in the Career Center to help you fine tune them. A word of caution: it is recommended that you do not use a commercial template when constructing your resume. The initial ease of such tools becomes frustrating and complicated when one attempts to personalize documents.
Your Resume – Program-specific examples of resumes can be found in Advisement & Career Services – Room 121 (Link to PDF)
What are employers looking for during an interview? Confidence (not arrogance), enthusiasm, interest in the profession and the job for which you are interviewing. Some knowledge of the organization and why you want to work there. An understanding of your own skills and how they will contribute to the mission of the organization or department. One of the best ways to assess your own interviewing style and see what employers see is to schedule a practice interview with one of the professionals in Advisement & Career Services. We also offer you the opportunity to digitally record and playback your practice interview to help you see your interviewing strengths and areas that need to improve before a real job interview.