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10 Steps to Rock Your Senior Job Search

September 12, 2013

Nicole_Dalberto“The job search doesn’t begin with clicking the ‘apply’ button; it begins with understanding what employers are looking for and demonstrating that understanding in your materials. It’s also about and cultivating and maintaining relationships in your field,” said Nicole Dalberto, Senior Coordinator for Graduating Students and Recent Alumni at the Steinbright Career Development Center.
The typical job search takes between three months to a year to complete, Dalberto said. Many students are surprised to learn how much time it can sometimes take to find a job. By beginning early, “our candidates can have excellent polished materials to begin their outreach,” she elaborated.
If you’re a senior student or recent graduate, now is the best time to get started on your job search. Many employers actually fill June openings in the fall, so it is definitely not too early to begin your job search process. The following ten senior job search tips were created based on our conversation with Nicole Dalberto:

  1. Create a job search plan with the help of a career counselor at the Steinbright Career Development Center. Call 215-895-2185 to make an appointment.
  2. Take every opportunity to network. Only about 20% of positions are filled via job board postings, as opposed to the 80% filled through networking. Let your friends, family members, professors, preceptors, previous employers and other contacts know that you’re beginning your job search. Make an ongoing effort to meet new people in your field.
  3. Create a killer resume or CV and customized cover letters. Make an appointment with the Steinbright Center’s counselors or stop in during drop-in hours to review your materials and make them the best they can be.
  4. Learn to use Dragon Jobs and other databases. Maximize your use of these online tools. If you need help, visit the Steinbright Career Development Center for a tutorial.
  5. Master the art of the LinkedIn profile. Make a LinkedIn profile if you don’t already have one and follow the prompts to complete the profile with academic and employment records, a professional photo, and areas of specialty or interest.
  6. Clean up your presence online. Search for yourself online. Do you like what you see? Make sure that, should a prospective employer Google your name, what they find is appropriate and not a deal-breaker.
  7. Build your interview skills. Steinbright offers a variety of opportunities to sharpen your skills in this area- from one-on-ones to group workshops. You may also want to learn how to conduct an informational interview, a strategy for learning more about your field or about specific jobs by talking to professionals.
  8. Reconnect with previous employers, preceptors, or co-op supervisors. Dalberto says that the fall of the senior year is the best time to reach out and talk to potential employers with whom you have worked before. It helps to reconnect early, that way you can begin the conversation with something other than an urgent, “do you have any job openings?”
  9. Add the Senior Series events to your calendar. “We have weekly Senior Series workshops to teach everything from cover letters to upgrading your resume to becoming a LinkedIn expert,” Dalberto said.
  10. Breathe. “We understand that this can be a very stressful time. We’re here to take the anxiety out of the process,” Dalberto finished. Reduce your job search stress and take advantage of the many great resources available to you at Steinbright.