Finding a JobYour job search success is related to the time you invest and the number of strategies you incorporate. Individuals experience the job search process very differently. Some are excited about beginning the next phase of their lives, while others are worried and view the job search as a stressful process. Wherever you are in terms of your feelings, know that many people have successfully navigated the job search process and there are a variety of career opportunities available to you.
Spend time reflecting on your career goals
Before you begin your job search, think about what you really want in a career. Consider what types of skills you would like to use in a position, what work-related experiences have been positive, and the type of lifestyle you envision for yourself. Clarification of your career goals will help focus your search.
Research your potential options
There are multiple career options within any given field.
Job market research will provide you a better understanding of the range of available positions. Your research efforts may include seeking information online, attending career-related programs, asking professionals for informational interviews. Hopefully, your research will give you insight into what positions realistically match your needs, based on your interests, values, and skills. A UCS Career Counselor can assist you in exploring your interests and options.
- Researching Industries/Occupational Areas
- Researching Employers
- Employment Outlook and Trends
Understand that the job search is time consuming
It is common to underestimate the amount of time and energy required to successfully obtain a position. Approaching your search in an organized and deliberate manner increases your chances of successfully obtaining a position of your choice, and decreases some of the stress that accompanies a job search.
Learn the job search process for your specific industry
The job search will vary depending on your field. Steps such as developing a strong résumé and practicing your interviewing skills are helpful for any industry. If you are unsure how to proceed based on your field, schedule an appointment with an Employment Specialist who will help you develop a job search strategy appropriate for your industry.
Use multiple job search strategies
It is recommended that you include multiple strategies as a part of your job search approach. Relying on one method will inevitably reduce the number of opportunities you locate. Commonly used search strategies include: On-Campus Recruiting (for current students), CareerCat, career fairs, networking, internet/online resources, field specific listings, newspapers/journals.
Recognize that rejection is a normal part of the process
Receiving notification that you were not selected for a position is sometimes difficult to handle. Employers usually have more applicants than available positions. If you experience consistent problems with your job search in a particular industry, schedule an appointment with an Employment Specialist to review your application materials and discuss your options.
Consult with others throughout the process
It is not necessary for you to go through this process alone. If you have questions or need assistance, determine key individuals who can provide you support. This may include Northwestern faculty or staff, as well as friends and family members who are experienced and familiar with the job search process. Successful applicants reach out for the support they need.
How UCS can help
UCS advisors are available to assist graduating graduate students and undergraduates with individual job searches. Advisors can assist you in crafting a job search plan, which includes understanding industry trends and strategies, establishing a timeline, identifying resources, and developing/polishing job search skills. UCS advisors assist students interested in all industry areas. To schedule an appointment, please log into your student CareerCat account and click on Request a Counseling Appointment (located under Shortcuts)
Additional job search assistance:
- Recruiting Timelines
- Long-distance Job Search
- International Job Search
- Managing Offers/Rejections/Negotiations