Two principle things to deal

There are two principle things to deal with in your career planning and job search:

  • 1. What sort of job you want to do (career planning), and
  • 2. How to get that job in the least possible amount of time (job search).

This handout focuses on the job search. However, before you begin your search, you should identify what sort of job you want to do. This means identify your abilities (what you do well), your interests (what you like to do), your strengths (outstanding traits), and your values (what is important to you).

Vocational assessments at UCS can help. In addition, we suggest you talk to people in careers that you find interesting and find out what they really do, read about careers in the library and on the Internet, do internships, and perform volunteer work.

How do you go about trying to find a job?

If you are like most people, you:

  • 1. Read the want ads
  • 2. Send out resumes
  • 3. Fill out applications
  • 4. Go to state and private employment agencies

These are common job search methods and some people do find jobs using them, but how effective are these methods?

Help Wanted Ads: Sure, some people do get jobs this way, so go ahead and apply. Just be sure to spend most of your time using more effective methods.
State Employment Service: Approximately 5% of job seekers nationally get their jobs through agencies, so it may be worth a weekly visit.
Private Employment Agencies: Unless you have skills that are in high demand, you may do better on your own. At the least, rely on a private agency as only one of the techniques you use. Donít rely on them too heavily.
Temporary Agencies: These can be a source of quick but temporary jobs to bring in some income as well as give you experience in a variety of settings Ė something that can help you land full-time jobs later. More and more employers are also using them as a way to evaluate workers for permanent jobs. Consider using these agencies if it makes sense to do so, but continue and active search for a full-time job as you do.
Sending Out Resumes: One survey found that you would have to mail out more than 500 unsolicited resumes to get one interview! A much better approach is to contact the person who might hire you by phone to set up an interview directly, then send a resume.
Filling Out Applications: Most applications are used as a screening tool to eliminate applicants. Larger organizations may require them, but remember that your task is to get an interview, not fill out an application. When you do complete them, make them neat, error-free, and do not include anything that could get you screened out. If necessary, leave a problematic section blank. It ca always be explained after you get an interview.
Personnel Departments: Their job is to screen and refer the best applicants to the person who would actually supervise you. You may need to cooperate with them, but it is often better to go directly to the person who is most likely to supervise you Ė even if no job opening exists at the moment.

Statistics show that all traditional job search methods combined only account for about 1/3 of the ways people actually find jobs! The more effective way to find employment comes from using nontraditional job search methods.

How can you decrease the amount of time it takes for you to find a job?

  • 1. Spend more time per week looking for interviews. The average job seeker spends 15 hours or less per week looking for employment. If you want to net more interviews per week, spend more time looking!
  • 2. Actively go out looking for openings, donít sit at home waiting for the phone to ring.
  • 3. Utilize a multifaceted job search campaign (more about this later).