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Winter Break – Perfect time for Job Search Prep!

December 8th, 2011

Winter break is about to begin and it is a perfect time to get your job search checklist started. Whether you are a freshman needing a job during the break or a senior about to graduate and looking for the perfect career, a checklist is exactly what you need to get started. With four weeks of winter break this year, there is more than enough time to get your checklist completed. Below are just a few ideas on how you can get everything organized during the break.

Know Yourself

One of the most important things to do before you even start thinking of applying to jobs is to know yourself. Knowing yourself helps give you a better understanding of your strengths as well as your weaknesses. These are two very important things to know in order to continue growth and maturity. They help you build upon your strengths making them a stronger emphasis to employers and also work on your weaknesses allowing for development in areas you would like to improve on. Simple steps you can take in this process include:

Find Your Interest

Knowing yourself will not only enlighten your outlook on life but it will also help you understand what jobs are the right ones for you. It will help eliminate jobs you have no interest in and also highlight the jobs where you would excel. Narrowing down your interest will make it easier to apply to jobs and not be overwhelmed by the amount of jobs and options that are out there. Some easy things to consider when finding what you would be interested in are:

  • How far will you have to travel for a certain job?
  • Know if the job will involve working with people or working alone.
  • Will you have fun at this job or is it only to make money?
  • Research the companies or organizations you will be applying to.

Prepare for Job Applications

Preparing for the job search is one of the most nerve racking and stressful part of the process. There are ways to minimize that; with the right preparation it should be smoother and less troublesome. First impressions are everything when it comes to jobs. You want to make sure that you are ready and ahead of all other applicants. There are several ways that you can prepare for when applying to jobs and these include:

  • Defining what the job application process requires of you (cover letter, resume, references, personal statement, transcripts, etc…)
  • Have those items such as resume, cover letter reviewed by a professional
  • Identify the best people to use as references
  • Develop your 30-second “elevator pitch”
  • Practice interview skills by setting up a mock interview
  • Have the right clothing and materials needed for an interview

After Applying

It is important to develop your course of action after you apply or interview for a job. Some of the most important things you can do are the simplest yet most effective.

  • Follow up with a thank you letter or email
  • Ensure that your email address and message structure is professional and well presentable
  • Have a professional answering voicemail message
  • Reply to email or voicemail messages as soon as possible

With this checklist you are ready for the job search!

FREE Career Guide – a must read for anyone preparing for the job search.

Posted by Silver Trujillo, Career Services Assistant

COMMENT: What job search task(s) will you be doing over winter break?

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