CEN Resources - Job Search


Introduction To Your Job Search

Undertaking a job search can be a full-time endeavor and one that would not be taken lightly. Since the typical person changes jobs 9-15 times throughout their work life, it is very important to understand the various job search strategies. There are many ways to look for a job, and you will probably receive varied advice on how to conduct an effective job search. The methods you choose will depend on several factors, including the industry you target, geographic preferences, and the size of job search campaign you intend to execute.

Before You Begin Your Job Search

Assess Your Skills & Interests

  • What can you do?
  • What do you like to do?
  • What are your strengths?
  • How can you benefit an employer?

Recognize Your Work Values

  • Financial requirements?
  • Leisure time requirements?
  • Level of responsibility/leadership desired?
  • Amount of challenge needed?
  • Do you want to work with others/alone?

Passive v. Active Job Searching

Passive Job Search Strategies
  • Newspaper classifieds
  • Web surfing
  • Professional journals/magazines
  • Nothing at all
Active Job Search Strategies
  • Networking
  • Informational interviewing
  • Utilizing Career Services
  • Making phone calls
  • Disseminating resume/cover letter

Active Job Search Strategies In-Depth

Networking: Contact individuals, advise them of your interests and skills in a particular area, and maintain contact with them. Below is a list of potential network members.
  • Family
  • Faculty/Career Services staff
  • Past/present employers
  • On-campus recruiters
  • Professional associates
  • Civic and religious organizations
Informational Interviewing: Interview an individual in your field of interest to gain additional information on the career field, the company, potential positions, as well as to establish a contact within the organization. Informational interviews allow you to:
  • Learn about opportunities that may interest you and skills they require.
  • Evaluate the fit between your skills and interests and a position such as the one your contact has.
  • Identify the organizations that are hiring.
  • Obtain the names of people from your contact network who can help you, if available.
  • Stand out from the competition.
  • Gain insights to shine in job interviews.
  • Discover inside information about an organization's culture and expectations so you don't take a job you know nothing about.
Advantages of Informational Interviews:
  • Gain useful info about the organization.
  • Expand your knowledge of the job market in the field you want to explore.
  • Clarify what the jobs in a field are really like before you commit yourself.
  • Discover what skills, work style, and background are best for the jobs you are considering.

Career Center

Below is a list of services provided by Career Center to assist you with your job search.
  • Career Resource Library
  • On-campus interviews
  • On-line job listings database.
  • Registration with UNCW Experience:
  • Workshops on career-related topics
  • Career Day
  • Education Job Fair & Nursing Career Fair
  • Internship & Summer Job Fair
  • Credential files (education majors)
  • Practice job interviews

Identifying Employers

Develop a list of prospective employers from UNCW Experience database:
  • News media
  • Chambers of Commerce
  • Yellow pages
  • Library/Career Services
  • Alumni
  • Federal/state/local personnel offices
  • Professional association directories
  • Internet
  • Faculty
  • Career Search database in Career Services

Contact Prospective Employers

  • Research the fields and job functions that interest you.
  • Target 5-10 organizations that interest you. Research them.
  • Learn how to find hiring managers.
  • Write a well-researched cover letter to the hiring manager.
  • Send a resume and cover letter.
  • Follow-up.

The Job Search Basics

  • Career fairs
  • On-campus recruitment
  • Career Services' job listing
  • Direct mail and follow up
  • Job search on-line
  • Internships
  • Employment/contract agencies
  • Networking
  • Information interviews
  • Job shadowing
  • Newspaper classifieds
  • Professional journal job listings
  • Mass mailings
  • Government agencies
  • Chambers of Commerce
  • Library resources
  • State job services
  • UNCW Career Services
  • Job search preparation workshops

Ten Point Checklist

  1. Research and assessed my skills and interests.
  2. Met with Career Services Counselor.
  3. Identify jobs available to me.
  4. Prepared a resume that summarizes my qualifications.
  5. Prepared a list of companies and organization I plan to contact.
  6. Reviewed interviewing information.
  7. Researched the companies and organizations I plan to contact.
  8. Registered with Career Services' UNCW Experience.
  9. Signed up for interviews with on-campus recruiters.
  10. Checked on required tests and licenses in my career field.