Career Services

career services

Job Search Top Ten

There is no one definitive process for finding one's dream job, and there are different conventions for different fields.  However, the job search process tends to have some predictable steps, as outlined below.  These steps don't always happen chronologically, but the best job search plan typically incorporates these activities.

1. Identify your employment goals to conduct a targeted job search.

If you don't yet have a fairly specific picture of the type of employment you will be seeking, utilize career planning tools and strategies to define career goals and establish a direction for your job search.

2.   Identify skills and qualifications to emphasize in your marketing plan (i.e., your “brand”).

Job search is essentially implementing a marketing plan for yourself. Figuring out and emphasizing what will positively differentiate you from other applicants is an important step in developing your marketing plan. The webites below can help you begin to define your brand.

3.  Network with professionals in your field.

Networking remains a key strategy for securing employment.  Review information about networking to plan your networking strategies. Take advantage of campus events offering opportunities to network with professionals in your field and with people who hire people like yourself.  One such event in Speed Mock Interviewing, which is scheduled each semester.  Maintain contact with internship supervisors and Viterbo alumni.  Attend community business events.   Work to create additional networking opportunities.  Information presented in the links below will give you some ideas about how to begin or enhance your networking.
Help Guide, Job Networking Tips
About.com, How to Use Networking to Find a Job
Riley Guide, Networking to Enhance Your Job Search

4. Prepare an employer-ready resume.

While you will have to tailor your resume for individual organizations, opportunities, and applications, start by developing a basic resume that highlights your most important qualifications and experiences and markets you well. Review resume information to make decisions about content and structure.  Check out Optimal Resume software on the Career Services website for assistance in preparing your resume.

5. Update your knowledge about what is expected in a cover letter and follow-up thank you notes.

Many times your first opportunity to make an impression on a potential employer is with job search correspondence.  Review what to include in a cover letter and be ready to prepare a quality document that targets an individual organization/postion, markets your well, and reinforces your brand.  Know that potential employers will assume this is a sample of your best writing.

6.  Create a professional LinkedIn account; prepare social media accounts for employer scrutiny.

Manage your online presence.  Be sure your social media accounts represent you well for job search and reinforce your brand.  LinkedIn is a professional networking site that can be important in establishing your brand, connecting with individuals and organizations in your field, presenting yourself as a professional, and conducting a job search.  Prepare a quality account to represent yourself well.  Career Services offers onine LinkedIn workshops each semester to help you create an account that markets you well.  The links below will connect you with additional advice and information. 

 7. Identify regional career fairs you will attend.

Attending career fairs is an essential job search function.  Most communities will have regional career fairs, and some career fairs target specific fields, such as those in the sports managment field.   Career Services offers a free bus ride to Workforce Career Fair, the private college fair in Wisconsin.  A nursing career fair is hosted on campus each year. WERF  is a statewide recruitment fair for education professionals scheduled each spring. Dress to impress, bring employer-ready resumes, and review guidelines for working a career fair.

8.  Secure permission from 3-5 people to use them as professional references.

Most employers expect candidates to provide a list of professional references, individuals who can describe the candidate's professional knowledge base, skill set, qualifications, experience, and workplace habits.  Professors, internship supervisors, former employers, research mentors, and coaches are commonly included on a reference list. Ask individuals for permission to include them on your reference list, keep them posted on your job search, and provide a potential employer with accurate contact information for individual references.

9. Practice professional interview skills. 

Review interviewing information on the Career Services website. Watch for Interview Stream, software coming to this website in July that will allow you to  respond to and record your answers to predictable interview questions.

10.  Search for job openings/postings. 

Check out the Viterbo Job Bank and other online job listings to find the best source of job leads for your career plans.  Check out company websites of some of your favorite organizations for employment lists.  Network with people in your field, who often know  about job openings before the positions are officially posted.