Looking for your first professional job after college takes time and commitment: but you’re ready to take that step. It’s best to begin searching for a job at least six to nine months prior to graduation and plan on setting aside three hours a week for the process.
To help you get started, we have outlined the steps to increase your chances of a successful job search. Once you identify your general career aspirations and understand the knowledge, skills and abilities required, you can get ahead to the process of developing a successful job search.
12 Steps of the Job Search Process
- Get in the right mindset. Finding a job can be difficult, but it’s worth it in the end.
- Develop your resumes and cover letters and have them reviewed by a career counselor.
- Upload your documents to MountaineerTRAK and begin searching applicable job postings.
- Make social media work for you, not against you. Potential employers like to connect with candidates via social media, so be selective in what you tweet.
- Utilize other online resources, such as CareerShift (access code: wvsenior) and LinkedIn. Don’t overlook individual company career pages.
- Leverage your network. Talk to classmates, alumni, professors, family and friends to learn about potential opportunities.
- Join professional associations. To find groups in your industry, visit What Can I Do With This Major?, select your major(s) of interest, and scroll to the bottom for a listing.
- Stay organized! Track the jobs you’ve applied to, adhere to deadlines and dates, as well as follow-up details.
- Schedule a mock interview with a career counselor.
- Participate in career fairs and other professional development events.
- Follow up with employers after every interview.
- Do your homework to decide if you will accept an offer or not and be prepared to negotiate if necessary.