Finding a job
How do our alumni(ae) successfully complete employment, internship, graduate school admissions and career exploration efforts? They set clear and realistic goals. They articulate objectives in effective ways. They are assertive and communicative and they are willing to act strategically and interact with others. Simply, they follow the steps below and seek assistance and support from others!
1. SET AND ARTICULATE GOALS
2. DEVELOP DOCUMENTATION
3. IDENTIFY A “HIT LIST”
4. ESTABLISH AND USE A “NETWORK”
5. RESPOND TO POSTED AND PUBLICIZED OPPORTUNITIES
6. CALL FIRST, THEN FAX OR E-MAIL AND, FINALLY, MAIL
7. FOLLOW UP, FOLLOW UP, FOLLOW UP
9. TAKE CLASSES, VOLUNTEER, OBTAIN INTERNSHIPS OR PART-TIME JOBS
10. RECEIVE OFFERS AND ACCEPT ONE
1. SET AND ARTICULATE GOALS. Know and say what you want to do next! You do not have to set and state lifelong goals, but you should express immediate and short-term options to implement action plans. pResearch (research before job search or graduate school search) is the key to goal setting! Don’t fear focus. Research, articulate, and then take behavioral action steps towards goals. A number of websites provide information, and some facilitate self-assessment. Of course, Alumni Career Services counselors are prepared to guide you through this critical stage. We encourage you investigate the following page on our student side dedicated to exploring academic/professional interests and career fields. Other helpful sites include Vault.com and Monster.com.
2. DEVELOP DOCUMENTATION. Draft, finalize, and then use resumes, cover letters, follow up correspondence, applications, recommendations, graduate school essays, portfolios and other materials that project goals and qualifications. We strongly recommend the UofResume or Harvard Business School formats for oUR alums, depending upon your background and goals. Having Alumni Career Services Counselors critique your documents is the best way for these professionals to learn about your goals and strategies, while they enhance documents needed for success. Copies of sample resumes (pdf) are available for you to download in pdf format.
3. IDENTIFY A “HIT LIST” OF POTENTIAL EMPLOYERS, GRADUATE PROGRAMS, FELLOWSHIPS AND OTHER OPPORTUNITIES. Use printed and online resources to develop a list of persons, places, organizations and schools to contact. The three Ps of job search include Places, People and Postings. Comprehensive efforts include communication with all three. This step involves identification of places, organizations where you wish to work or grad schools where you wish to apply. Utilize UR Experienced, CareerShift, Vault.com (password is career32008), and general job posting websites to begin this process. (*UR Experienced is password protected for UR alums, be sure to register with our office to obtain your password.)
4. ESTABLISH AND USE A “NETWORK.” Identify and ask friends, family members, faculty, and, most importantly, fellow alumni(ae) to assist with pResearch (research before job search and graduate school search) as well as employment, graduate school admissions, and internship search efforts. Also, “internetworking” now means using the internet for varied activities. Networking is done to explore careers and set goals, and to conduct active job search efforts. The Rochester Alumni Exchange is an amazing tool, as is CareerShift. Additionally, you may find online networking sites such as LinkedIn (For a how-to-use LinkedIn handout, click here) to be helpful. Please discuss with an Alumni Career Services Counselor how to maximize your effectiveness and appropriately use these powerful web resources.
5. RESPOND TO POSTED AND PUBLICIZED OPPORTUNITIES. Locate and use job postings, graduate school websites and listings, printed and electronic want ads, employment agencies, job and graduate school fairs, as well as on- and off-campus recruiting and resume collections. Explore and complete necessary graduate school related standardized testing. Don’t depend on postings, including those on UR Experienced and our online resources, but how you respond will impact success! Be effective in implementing proactive and reactive efforts. Again, have an Alumni Career Services counselor critique documents used and allow this person to coach you step-by-step through reactive and proactive efforts.(*Some of these sites are password protected, be sure to register with our office to obtain your password.)
6. CALL FIRST, THEN FAX OR E-MAIL AND, FINALLY, MAIL RESUMES, COVER LETTERS, APPLICATIONS, AND SUPPORTING MATERIALS TO PEOPLE, PLACES, POSTINGS OR PROGRAMS (GRAD SCHOOL) ON YOUR HIT LIST AND IN YOUR SUPPORT NETWORK. Inform as many people as possible, as often as possible, about your goals. Take first steps, and then keep the flow of communications persistent, yet appropriate. Attach a resume to initial correspondence as well as follow up e-mail or fax notes. Work effectively by phone, e-mail, or in person with an Alumni Career Service professional.
7. FOLLOW UP, FOLLOW UP, FOLLOW UP. Communicate with potential employers, graduate programs, internship sites, and network members by phone, mail, or, increasingly, by fax and e-mail. Alumni Career Services counselors are trained to inspire appropriate and effective follow up actions.
8. INTERVIEW. Communicate motivations and, most importantly, qualifications by phone and in-person. Always prepare prior to these special “conversations with a purpose.” Again, Alumni Career Services counselors are prepared to coach you through this critical stage; by phone, via email, or in person. Do communicate with them regarding general interview advice, and strategies specific to your circumstances. Copies of sample interview questions (pdf) and tips are available for downloading in a pdf format. You can also investigate wetfeet.com, or vault.com for additional interviewing information. (*Some of these sites are password protected for UR alums, be sure to register with our office to obtain your password.)
9. TAKE CLASSES, VOLUNTEER, OBTAIN INTERNSHIPS OR PART-TIME JOBS. Continue skills building by taking classes in goal-related areas, by finding part-time paid or volunteer experiences, or by completing internships. Each experience will enhance your chances of obtaining your goals. This is often the most effective step, yet least taken. One or two courses could become your springboard to success, as can a post-baccalaureate internship. Check your local area colleges and universities for courses of interest!
10. RECEIVE OFFERS AND ACCEPT ONE. Conduct post-offer analysis after you have received employment or graduate program admissions offers. Don’t delay earlier undertakings while prematurely trying to make hypothetical “what if” decisions. Alumni Career Services Counselors are trained to assist you with this last step as well. Please share your circumstances and ask for personalized assistance. Remember that Career Center Counselors can help you with the salary negotiation and offer process. To begin investigating this topic, check websites like:salary.com, The Salary Calculator, Monster Salary Center and vault.com. (*Some of these sites are password protected for UR alums, be sure to register with our office to obtain your password.)