Your job search is a very individual endeavor; no two students are looking for the exact same co-op or full time job. Steinbright can help you as you explore your options. Being organized and thorough in the job search process will help you achieve your goals. Here are some suggestions on how to get started:
One of the most proactive things you can do during your job search is to create a list of companies that interest you. Here are a number of resources that can help you identify companies that are right for you:
- Job Search Resources Workshops (national and international) are offered several times each term. The workshops will provide an overview of the databases listed below and other helpful information.
- Going Global is the leading provider of country-specific and American city-specific career and employment information, including 41 Country Career Guides, 48 US City Career Guides, corporate profiles, and more than 16 million listings updated on a daily basis. To access this website:
- Go to DrexelOne
- Click on the COOP+CAREER SERVICES tab
- Click on the Going Global link found in the Career Services channel
- D&B Million Dollar Database - Search by location and/or industry and narrow your list by criteria such as company size, parent company (if applicable) and many more.
- Hoovers - You can search for companies just like in Million Dollar, but Hoovers usually provides a great list of contacts within your companies of interest, as well as detailed company descriptions.
- Uniworld - If you are looking for companies outside of the US, Uniworld provides lists of companies with connections both in the US and abroad.
- Vault Career Insider - While not the most extensive list, Vault Career Insider provides lists of the highest rated companies in certain industries.
Now that you have a list of companies that you are interested in, the next step is to contact them directly. You will be applying to specific positions that are posted or informing the company of your interest to work there and inquiring about any opportunities available. Remember, not every job opening is posted to the general public. In fact, 80% of jobs aren’t publicly advertised, according to CollegeRecruiter.com This means you have to do your work! Contact each company that interests you, even if you don't see a specific job opening.
Strategy #1 - Contact the Company by Phone
Contacting the company directly by phone demonstrates a directness that many employers find impressive. Picking up the phone and calling the company shows that you are making an attempt to speak directly to the employer to introduce yourself and demonstrate your interest. Many job seekers choose not to call a company, so if you do, you will set yourself apart from the competition and showcase your confidence and communication skills. Review the guidelines below if you choose to contact the company by phone.
- To find the right contact person in the company, contact the Human Resources Department and/or the department in which you are interested. Explain who you are and that you are inquiring about career opportunities. Ask with whom you should speak about such opportunities, or to whom you should send your resume.
- Think about what you will say before making the call. Refer to the employer communication section for tips on professional communication.
- Develop a phone script to help you prepare what you are going to say. Your 30 second commercial may be useful here, especially if you are talking directly to a hiring manager.
- Practice with your friends and family to ensure a confident tone of voice.
- Be sure that you have your resume, calendar, pen and paper before calling the company. You will need to be prepared to write down the person’s name (with correct spelling), answer any questions about your qualifications and hopefully schedule an interview.
- Send the appropriate person a cover letter and resume to follow-up from your conversation.
Strategy #2 - Email Cover Letter and Resume
If you choose not to contact the company by telephone, you can email your cover letter and resume. In today's busy lifestyle, many employers are accustomed to communicating via email and may check email more frequently and more consistently than phone messages. Below are steps to the strategy of emailing your cover letter and resume. Keep in mind that if your initial communication with the employer is by email, it may be beneficial for you to follow up with a phone call if you do not receive a response from your email. Review the guidelines below for appropriate follow up.
- Always send your cover letter and resume to a specific person and contact the Human Resources Department if necessary to get the name of the appropriate person.
- Target your cover letter to that specific company – research the company’s news and current events and use some of this information in your letter.
- If you are responding to a specific job posting, be sure to draw parallels between the skills being described in the job description and your skills.
- If you are not responding to a specific job posting, draft a general cover letter.
Following up will set you apart from the competition. When writing a cover letter, you may want to indicate the time frame you will follow up – usually 3-5 business days after sending your cover letter and resume is appropriate. Demonstrate your ability to follow through by following up in the manner you said you would when you said you would. Call the department or person to whom you sent your materials to check on your application status. Plan what you will say before placing the call.
If you leave a message and don’t hear back from the employer within a week of the application submission, follow up with another call. Call a total of three times and then move on to keep the momentum of your job search. Keep in mind that your time frame may not be this particular company’s time frame and it may take longer to hear back from them.
Staying motivated and positive during a job search can be challenging. Having a substantial list of employers to contact will help keep you motivated. List is running low? Repeat the steps for identifying companies (in the "Identifying Companies" section) and use your growing network of contacts to give you advice, direction and hopefully job leads.
Online job postings are one of the many resources you should utilize as part of your self-directed search. You should apply to jobs related to your field of interest that are posted online, but be sure to keep a few things in mind:
- Many employers receive hundreds, if not thousands, of online applications. This makes applying via online job postings a very competitive, though not impossible, way to land an interview.
- Online job search websites are best used to find out about the positions that are available in your field.
- Posting your resume may not produce any interviews.
- Often these sites have jobs posted that are closed, old or have been already filled.
Below are a few of the most useful job search websites:
Networking is the practice of developing professional relationships and utilizing those relationships to help you achieve your career goals. Networking is a valuable way to find job opportunities and obtain positions.
Individuals in your everyday life including friends, family, classmates, professors, supervisors, co-workers, and members of professional associations within your industry can be helpful resources during your search.
Some suggested ways to network are:
- Attend career fairs
- Schedule an informational interview
- Go to an employer information session
- Create a LinkedIn profile - LinkedIn is a great way to search for and connect with employers in your field of interest
The more people you can connect with, the better. The connection can be through email, phone, or social media, but when you can talk to someone face to face you have the potential to make a lasting impression. Start with what is comfortable for you and then expand your methods of outreach. People will not know your skills or interests, your career goals, your co-op job search process or your questions unless you make the effort to tell them. Networking takes time, but most often it will yield the best results in your job search.
You will need to be your biggest fan and advocate in your job search – be ready to showcase your skills and promote your experiences when the situation calls for it.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, always be ready to meet people and use your 30 second commercial. Refer to Interviewing Tips for information on the 30 second commercial, including how to craft one and when to use it to your advantage.
The following resources are available for assistance with the self-directed job search:
- Career Library - Located in the Hagerty Library on the main campus, a Drexel librarian can help you identify companies in your industry and/or geographic area of interest.
- Workshops - Target your specific job search needs by attending a workshop. The list of workshops/times/locations changes each term.
- Career Guides - The guides are a good overview of job information as it relates to your major.
- Dragon Jobs - Employers post full-time positions, part-time positions and internships here.
- Career Fairs - Fairs are held on campus twice a year. Industry specific career and school fairs for Engineering and Law are also held each year.
- Employer Information Sessions - Employers come to campus and use these sessions as a pre-screening tool. Students can ask questions, network and get direction on their job search.
- Career Counseling - Individual counseling and guidance can help you explore career paths and job search strategies. Call 215-895-2185 to schedule an appointment with a career counselor. Students in the College of Nursing and Health Professions and the Dornsife School of Public Health call 215-762-7577.
- Co-op Coordinators - Steinbright staff members can help navigate the co-op process and provide advice as you conduct your job search. They are assigned by major to co-op students and work with the employers who hire these students.
- Employment Summary and Planner Archives (ES&P) - This is a collection of student evaluations of their co-op jobs. It can only be viewed by students with co-op concentrations. Review the companies and information to determine which ones may be a good fit for you. You may access the ES&P archives through DrexelOne.