By Hannah Swogger | March 12, 2019
At The Exchange, Marian University’s career development office, we know job searching can be a stressful and vulnerable experience. That’s why we’re here to support students and alumni every step of the way in their professional journeys. From exploring career options to preparing for interviews, we’re here for job seekers at any stage in their careers.
If you’re getting started on your job search, or aren’t sure where to start, here are three ways you can focus your efforts for optimal results and a meaningful next step in your career:
Optimize your network.
Remember that everyone you know—friends, family, classmates, colleagues—is a professional connection. And 80+ percent of jobs are filled through networking. If you’re gearing up for the job search, schedule a coffee meeting with a former supervisor who positively impacted your work. Touch base with a professor whose background was in a field that is related to yours. In fact, don’t wait until you need a job to do this. Keep your professional connections alive and communicate with those who have impacted you, whether they are in your field or not. You never know who knows whom, or what opportunities or new connections may be made through your network.
Would you like the opportunity to expand your network and meet new employers? Check out upcoming events at The Exchange. We have job fairs, networking events, and recruiting tables open to students and alumni.
A great tool for keeping in touch with professional contacts is LinkedIn. Through LinkedIn you can see if someone you know has connections at different organizations that interest you. In fact, you can access over 12,000 Marian University alumni working in all different locations and in all different fields.
Narrow your search.
Not sure entirely what you want to do? Overwhelmed by thousands of Indeed position postings? That’s okay. But narrowing down your job search can help you have more success and get more callbacks from your applications. If you would like to discover possible pathways available in your career, there are many career assessments and resources to help you explore your career on The Exchange’s website.The Exchange’s website.
If you already have a general sense of what you’d like to do, it can also help to narrow down to a list of employers you specifically would like to target. These could be organizations you’ve heard good things about through word of mouth, organizations that resonate with you because of their culture and values, or organizations in your target geographical destination. Regardless of your career priorities, making this list will help you target your applications and customize your materials to articulate why you are passionate about working at these organizations.
Once you have your list of top employers, become familiar with their organization at every opportunity possible. Bookmark their websites and check them frequently for recruiting or community outreach events. Follow their social media pages and add yourself to any newsletters they may have. Make sure you’re the first to see new job postings by signing up for email notifications for new openings or by checking for new postings on the company website daily. This vigilance may seem tedious but it will most assuredly pay off in the end when you are fully prepared and knowledgeable about the company in future interviews.
Polish that résumé.
Take a look at your résumé and cover letter. Now take a look at the mission page of the organization you want to work for. Are you showing skills and passions that are relevant to the work of the organization? How do your documents incorporate key skills and responsibilities that are listed in the job posting for the position you want.
Request an appointment with The Exchange to review your job search documents and get them into shape. If you send us a draft of your résumé beforehand and a copy of the job listing you’re looking at, we can give comprehensive feedback for areas that can be strengthened and tailored to that position, including content and formatting.
Not in Indianapolis? No problem. Just request an appointment time on Handshake and add in the notes that you prefer a phone or web conference. For those who need to meet outside business hours, we can do online reviews through Handshake or make special accommodations for after-hours appointments if necessary. Just let us know!
Through proper use of your network, researching employers, and tailoring your documents you will be able to launch a comprehensive job search. Remember, you’re never alone in the job search. Students and alumni have The Exchange as a resource and support every step of the way.