The big job search. Those words alone can bring many emotions all at once—anticipation, dread, overwhelmed, excitement. While there is not one job search method that works for everyone, there are three strategies that college students can utilize to be successful.
Create an enticing resume
Have an impressive resume is the first step in the job search process. Redbird alum and American Family Insurance state administrative assistant Natassia Dunlap ’17 highlights the importance of including specific details on your resume. “Go beyond the general job descriptions and take time to think of your daily tasks in each position you list on your resume. Most times, candidates have transferable skills, but they don’t get the jobs they are qualified for because their resumes do not reflect their true work experience.”
Commonly overlooked, yet often the most successful strategy is networking. Everyone has a network of connections: classmates, faculty, family members, friends, and co-workers. In fact, you never know who is sitting right next to you in class—they might know someone who works in your desired field.
Illinois State Director of Alumni Relations Stephanie Duquenne ’04, M.S. ’15, highlighted the importance of networking: “Networking, although a bit daunting and scary at times, is really key in the job search. Meeting professionals that have connections in the field you are interested in will open doors for you.”
Duquenne also adds that a great tool for networking is to join professional associations. “I think it is important to attend professional events that organizations related to your field may host. For example, if you are interested in a career in communication, the Association for Women in Communication hosts monthly luncheons that cover topics relevant to the communication industry. Go. Be present and walk away with a new connection.”
Utilizing LinkedIn can also be instrumental in this process as well. LinkedIn is another way to grow your network. Redbird alum and biology teacher education graduate Samantha Schulz ’18 utilized LinkedIn as her primary step in looking for teaching jobs. “When I was looking for a full-time teaching job, I connected with many teachers and administrators in the districts I was interested in. It was so quick and easy to make those connections on LinkedIn!”
Utilize these job strategies, such as improving your resume, being intentional about networking, and utilizing LinkedIn, to make your job search process even more manageable. Additional job search strategies are also available in the Career Resource Guide.