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What is a job search?

A job search is NOT just utilizing online sites like JagJobs to search and apply. This process encompasses online and in-person efforts to land opportunities. Your job search is a positive correlation, meaning the more time you put in, the better results you will have. 

For students taking a full course load (between 12 to 15 credits), it is expected you will spend 5–10 hours per week searching for a job. Below is a percentage breakdown of how much time you should spend on each activity in the search process:

  • Creating and updating your action plan and job search tracking form: 5%
  • Researching employers and opportunities: 10%
  • Updating and tailoring your resume and creating tailored cover letters: 25%
  • Submitting applications: 10%
  • Networking in person (e.g., job and career fairs) and using professional/social media to advance your search: 40%
  • Following up with applications: 10%


Many job searches do not end after a week; for students who need a job ASAP, plan to spend more than 10 hours per week in the search process. It can take at least a couple of weeks after you apply before you will hear back about an interview, if you hear back at all. This is why the follow-up process is extremely important!

Keep active while waiting on your next job; employers like to know you are involved and taking advantage of skill development outside of being paid for it.

Need assistance starting your job search? Make an appointment and check the reason code: Job Search.

Creating a Job Search Action Plan

In the introduction to this site, students identified several reasons why they work. One main reason is to fund their education and cost of living. When beginning your action plan, there are some questions you need to answer:

  • Why do you want to work?
    • Do you need to fund your education or cost of living, or would another type of experience fit your needs better (volunteer, student organizations, etc)?
  • What types of jobs are you interested in?
    • Follow up in research and target companies.
  • How many hours per week can you work?
    • Utilize this weekly schedule outline to identify times when you could work.
  • When would be an optimal time to begin working?
    • Consider your optimal time to begin working (e.g., next semester, as soon as possible, whenever you find something interesting).
    • Check out the suggested timeline based on when you would like to work.
    • Set up your timeline and begin targeting and researching employers and opportunities.
    • Target your job search based on the above questions to make your job search easier.


Be sure to utilize the job search tracking form to keep track of applications, initial contacts, and follow-ups with various positions you apply for.

Need assistance creating your job search action plan? Make an appointment and check the reason code: Job Search Strategies.