As someone who is currently going through the process of reading job descriptions, applying for jobs, sending out resumes, writing cover letters and interviewing for jobs, I can tell you it is a daunting process. I think there are a few things that have helped me survive and succeed so far, so I will share those with you.
First, it is important to reflect upon your impending professional career and make sure that you know what you are looking for in your next position. For me, I knew I wanted a position that would allow me a lot of time to work with people. I wanted a position at a place that would allow me to grow and develop as a new professional while pursuing some of my own personal interests. When starting your job search, consider your values, interests and skills and be ready to talk about those in an interview. Even more importantly, create interview questions to ask employers that will help you to determine if that position is a good fit for what you are seeking professionally.
Second, it is important to have a strong support network. The people in my life have been the number one factor helping me through this process! As I have gone along, I have talked to the people around me. I discussed the types of jobs for which I was looking, my geographic limitations, my feelings, and the status of my interviews. These people have been able to support me when I started to feel scared about moving away from the place I’ve called home for 24 years and to give me a pep talk before going on an interview. If you’re starting the job search process, talk it out with friends and family – it really helps!
Being organized has been enormously helpful in the job search process! I could have been completely overwhelmed with all the paperwork and cover letters. I love binders, so I made a job search binder. Each position I applied for had its own section in the binder. Within each section I kept job descriptions, cover letters and notes throughout the process. This helped tremendously as I went through the job search process.
I think the thing that helped me find true success in my job search was my dedication to being authentic in all my conversations with potential employers. I made that commitment to myself early on in my job search process. I knew that if an employer didn’t want to hire me because of some aspect of my personality, I probably wouldn’t want to work for them in the long run. For example, I have a large button ring that I wear quite often. While it not always recommended that you wear large jewelry to an interview, I decided against this commonly shared advice. I have a BFA and made the ring in college. I wanted to show off my creativity a bit as I feel it sets me apart from other candidates. It is important to be yourself in the job search process so that you end up in a position that wants you for what you have to offer.
If you are going on the job search soon, good luck!! Hopefully, this advice will help you to successfully navigate the process and land you the job of your dreams!
If you are looking for someone to talk to about your job search, consider talking to your career counselor. Check out our web page to find out who your counselor is: http://www.udel.edu/CSC/bluehenjobs.html
Kate Conway is an intern at the University of Delaware Career Services Center. She is currently obtaining her Master of Arts in Counseling in Higher Education with a concentration in Student Affairs Practice. Kate is particularly interested in Lifetime Career Development and achieving personal success in the workplace.