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Northwest Missouri State University

The 10 Step Job Search

1. Clarify your career goals. Where are you going? It will be difficult to find a job when you are not sure what you are looking for. If you are having trouble with this first step, consider the following links.

2. Prepare your resume. Check out this website for the many resources and sample resumes available to you. Tailor your resume to the potential job or internship as much as possible. Need additional assistance? Stop by Career Services for more information, watch a video or bring by a draft of your resume or cover letter and set up an appointment for a personal critique.

3. Organize your job search. Using your daily planner or PDA is a great way to organize your efforts for great efficiency. You should allocate a portion of each week for doing research on companies that interest you and for pursuing other means of contacting employers. Keeping accurate records, good addresses and the dates you contacted employers as well as copies of follow-up letters will be vital to your job search.

4. Research the job market. Research literature in Career Services, check the Internet for information about companies and industries and remember knowledgeable faculty may be an additional resource.

5. Network. People hire individuals they know, so the more potential employers you meet, the better your odds of landing a job. Develop your social and professional networks. Make a list of the people you know that might be helpful and contact them. Who on your list might refer you to someone else?

6. Use career resources. Career fairs, mock interview days, interview days, education expos, regional events, on-campus recruiting, online job search databases, resume referrals, and web registration are all valuable tools in your job search.

7. Make an appointment to talk to a potential employer. If unable to schedule an appointment, send a resume and cover letter to the appropriate person. Be sure your cover letter is strong and reflects your research.

8. Persistence and follow-up. Persistence is one of the key strategies in the job search. Whether you are researching job leads, sending out resumes, scheduling interviews, or contacting a hiring authority, you need to be persistent and pro-active. Follow all promising contacts with phone calls and letters and remember professional etiquette at all times.

9. Prepare for the interview. Participate in mock interview days. Review research material, watch videotapes on interviewing. Plan to send a thank you letter immediately after an interview. Follow-up after an appropriate period of time. Script out what you want to say to the question - "Tell me a little about yourself".

10. Make sure that this is the job for you. Before you accept or decline an offer, consider the offer carefully. Make sure the details of the offer are clear; preferably get them in writing. Details may include starting date, starting salary and benefits, locations, job description and responsibilities as well as the date by which you must respond to the offer.

Taken from "The Complete Manual for Career Changers" P. Studner and "How to Get a Job" by R. Seaborn and M. D. Synder.

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