Preparation for the Search
Setting a flexible foundation of knowledge serves as a starting point. Help them determine a general type of job or broad industry (non-profit, helping professions, technology, corporate, etc.) Discuss geographical limitations, not only where they would consider living but where they would not want to live. Factor in what workplace values are desirable, such as benefits, co-worker compatibility, diversity, reputation, access to technology, dress codes, salary, and more.
Employer and industry research is key for heading into a search armed with knowledge to make informed decisions.
Resources and Advice to Share
- Employment Opportunities and Job Resources
- Company websites
- Chamber of Commerce websites
- Companies/organizations by city
- Professional organizations
- Articles in trade journals/other periodicals
Encourage Your Student
Help your student to do the following:
- Spend time working on their resume and cover letter. These documents are vital!
- Have their documents reviewed by a PSU Career Counselor, Career Peer Advisor, and other professionals you may know.
- Schedule a mock interview with the Career Services Office to prepare them for frequently asked questions, answer strategies, etiquette, and preparation tools.
- Tap into career events and career center professionals on campus.
- Read newspapers and trade journals.
Devise Effective Strategies
With some basic ideas of companies or types of positions to target and their job search tools sharpened, they are now ready to start putting themselves out there.
We recommend a multi-faceted approach to a job search, combining online and advertised searching with networking to uncover hidden leads.
Finding Hidden Jobs
To tap into the hidden job market, students should:
- Very simply, start talking to their peers, on-campus contacts, family, and others. Encourage them to seek knowledge of fields and jobs, as well as mention they are job searching.
- Attend events on and off campus where they can meet connected people face-to-face.
- Dig in online to network: online professional organizations, listservs, email, and web pages such as LinkedIn.
- Consider cold-calling or approaching employers directly about opportunities that may exist for them.
- Conduct informational interviews and job shadow to meet employers and learn about their field and positions.
Finding Advertised Jobs
To tap into the advertised job market, students should:
- Use the Job Opportunity listing
- Research company and organization websites
- Job search engines (CareerBuilder.com, Indeed.com, Idealist.org, USAjobs.gov)
- Attend career fairs and on-campus interviews
- Read newspapers, trade journals