Class of 2020-2021 Resources

Job Search Steps & Strategies for Post-Graduate Employment

  1. Identify your goals & objectives.
    Be realistic, you really can't "do anything".  Think about your interests, abilities, skills, goals and values in order to focus on the types of positions best suited to you.  If you are unsure of your objectives, contact the Career Center for an appointment to explore these areas.
  2. Use a variety of methods in searching for job opportunities.
    • Networking:  The #1 way to go about finding a job, because approximately 80% of all job openings are never  advertised.
      • LinkedIn is a great resource for virtual networking! Learn more about how to effectively use LinkedIn by clicking here or watching the video below!
    • Direct Contact:  Market yourself to organizations, even if no vacancies are posted.  However, a job opening probably won't exist the first time you contact an employer.  The purpose of the direct contact approach is to find out how to learn of jobs when they DO become available or uncover "hidden" opportunities that might never be advertised. 
    • Handshake (found under the "Student Services" tab in MyCharleston) Access all job opportunities listed with the Career Center.
      • For resources on how to best utilize Handshake, check out these videos!
    • Career/Job Fairs.  The Career Center hosts Career Fairs each fall and spring semester. Attending these events allows you to talk directly with potential employers.  Check the Career Center's homepage for updated information on upcoming Career Fairs.
      • Find examples of questions you can use to engage with employers here and here!
    • Staffing/Employment Agencies.  Can be very helpful, particularly if you are moving to a new area. The Career Center maintains a handout listing the staffing agencies in the Charleston area.
  3. Write a resume focusing on your job/career objectives, and highlighting the knowledge, skills and abilities you possess for the specific job/career area to which you are applying.
    • For resume writing tips and tricks, click here!
  4. Select your references and ask them if they would be able to provide you with a positive reference. Prepare your reference page (only send if you are asked to do so by an employer.  However, you should take your reference page to interviews in case you are asked for a list of references at that time).
  5. Learn how to write cover letters and other job search correspondence.
    Remember to write thank-you letters to send after your interviews.
  6. Develop strong interview skills.
    Participate in a mock interview with a Career Center staff member.
    • For interview tips, check out these videos!
    • Virtual Interviews are becoming a particularly important part of the job search, so check out these videos for virtual interview tips!
  7. Research organizations of interest and salary statistics for your career/job of interest, as well as for your geographic area of preference.
  8. Establish a time line.
    It takes an average of 3-6 months to conduct a successful job search, so advance planning is essential! As you apply, keep a watchful eye out to Avoid Job Scams.
  9. Set goals and be willing to commit some time each week for your job search.
    Keep accurate records of your contacts and the results. We have created a chart to help you track your applications, download it here: Application Tracking Sheet.
  10. Follow up and keep in touch with employers over time.
    Understand that a job search takes time.  Be persistent and patient.