Career Action Center

The Job Search Process

  • Identify your strengths, skills and talents. What are you naturally good at?
  • Make a list of your greatest accomplishments from work, school, volunteering or hobbies.
  • Clarify what your ideal job would be. Write down the characteristics of your ideal job.
  • Write a résumé showing your skills, talents and accomplishments.
  • Make a list of all the people you know.
  • Ask people to serve as references and prepare your list of references.
  • Call or meet with everyone on your list. One of the best ways to find a job is through people you know. Tell each person the type of job you are looking for and ask them to keep you in mind. Provide them with a copy of your résumé.
  • Compile a list of employers who interest you and contact them directly.
  • Actively look for a job. Use a wide variety of job search techniques (contact employers directly, respond to ads, work with temporary firms, check websites of organizations which interest you, search the internet, including local and specialized sites, make personal contacts).
  • Prepare for interviews by practicing answers to common questions. Research the organization before going to your interview.
  • Go to interviews. Make notes afterward. Evaluate what you did well and what you want to improve.
  • Write thank-you letters after every interview or informational meeting.
  • Touch base with your contacts; let them know how your job search is progressing. Use short phone calls or emails to provide a quick update.
  • Keep on looking even when you feel discouraged. Job searches usually involve ups and downs. Find ways to nurture yourself during the process.
  • Go to more interviews. Receive a job offer and accept a new job!
  • Celebrate your success! Congratulate yourself on getting a great job.