Top Tips from Last Year’s Job Searchers February 21st, 2008
This post is for all of you ’08 graduating types. I did a presentation for the CSSA equivalent program at Colorado State. I solicited feedback from my ’07 cohort members and other ’07 grads who completed job searches. I hope this helps you on your way out. My next post will be a compilation of interview questions we were asked in our searches.
- Don’t ever give up—be persistent; the right job will come if you wait for it
(this tip from a job searcher who was not placed until September)
- Key in the job search process—NETWORKING. Network, network, network.
Do internships at universities where you think you may want to work and
use this time as an extended job interview—WOW them! If you can’t
do internships, try doing informational interviews to show your interest…
- Be Selective—It’s hard to do when you have bills to pay, but really think
about where you want to spend the next 3-5 years of your life. Just because the pay is better than
everywhere else doesn’t mean the job is the right fit for you.
- Choose whether you want to search by geography or by functional area and stick to
- Don’t be afraid to make a big change (i.e. moving ½ way or all the way out of
the country—or even into another country)
- If you have a partner or a pet, consider what a change and a move will mean for
them (Do you really want to live in with your dog or cat? Does your partner really want to
- Before you start your search, identify your “must haves” and “will not sacrifice”
lists; do not compromise your values for what seems like the “dream
job”…because then it’s no longer the “dream job”
- Trust that you’ll be able to feel when the “fit” is right; trust that you’ll be
able to feel when the “fit” is wrong
- CLARIFY the “who pays” for your on-campus interviews BEFORE you go flying around
the country—some schools will pay for your interview visit conditionally
(i.e., we will pay if we invite you and you’re not selected; we will pay
if we invite you and you are selected AND you accept; we’ll pay ½ if we
invite and you’re selected and you DECLINE)
- Research the universities before you apply
- It’s cliché, but it’s true that you’re interviewing them just as much as they
are interviewing you!
- BE YOURSELF!!!
Good luck, job searchers!!