Developing a Job Search Action Plan
To jump-start your job search, it is important to first develop an action plan. You need to know what type of jobs you are interested in and also consider which jobs will provide the most valuable work experience to help you find a full-time position upon graduation. Each student may have a very different action plan. The following is a list of suggested steps to begin your job search:
- Determine the type of job you are interested in
Determine the number of hours you want to work on a weekly basis
- Do you prefer an on- or off-campus position?
- Are there specific industries or areas you would like to work in?
Determine the hours you are available to work
- Studies show that students who work 20 hours or less while enrolled in classes find greater success in their academics.
Get your professional documents ready
- Some jobs will require set hours, while others will have flexible scheduling. It is important to know a company's expectations to ensure you can fulfill the requirements of the job while still balancing your academic responsibilities.
Create a job search time line
- Visit our Resources link for information on resumes, cover letters, and meeting with an OSE (Office of Student Employment) professional for assistance in creating these professional documents.
Begin your job search
- If you want to begin working in the fall semester, July or early August is an ideal time to begin your job search. Make sure you allow yourself enough time to search and apply for jobs without getting into a time crunch. Planning ahead will make the job search process much less stressful. To stay motivated, create milestones for yourself (e.g., apply to five positions each week, follow up on applications every week).
- Visit the Job Listings link to the left for recommended job search sites as well as the How to Apply link for information on the application process.
What if I'm not qualified for a position?
It is important to apply only to jobs where you meet the qualifications. Don't spend your time and effort applying for a position you are not eligible for. On-campus employment is an excellent option for those looking for flexible work schedules as well as for students who may be finding their first part-time position. Many on-campus employers understand that a part-time job is a learning experience, and you may not be expected to know everything right away. Having a positive attitude and showing your motivation to learn new skills will still make you an outstanding job candidate for many positions.
What if I have never worked before?
Many times, students have had jobs, they just don't realize it. Have you ever babysat, cleaned houses, mowed lawns, volunteered, or helped with a family business? These are all great experiences and should be included on your resume. Job shadowing and internships are also excellent items to add to a resume to showcase your experience. If you have truly never worked, showcasing special skills will be important on your resume. Add things like certifications (CPR, first aid, Microsoft, Adobe, etc.). Let the employer know of any special skills you have or languages you can speak. These types of items are very valuable to an employer and definitely worth adding to your resume.
Still not sure if you're qualified?
Make an appointment with a student employment consultant to discuss any job search questions or concerns you may have. Call 317-274-0857 to schedule an appointment.