Searching for a job can take, on average, three to six months, so it’s important to begin early (at least a semester before you’d like to be hired). Here are some strategies to get you started:
- It’s okay if you don’t know exactly what you want to do in a job, however, employers will expect you to have an idea. Think about the type of work you’d like to do, skills you’d like to use, and industries you’d like to explore. Refer to our Self-Guided Career Exploration site if you need some ideas or need to do further research.
- Be mindful of recruiting timeframes for industries you’d like to work. For example, educators are often hired between March and June, while accounting firms typically hire in September/October.
- Organize your search. Keep track of organizations you’ve applied to, when, who you spoke with, and when you need to follow-up.
- Most jobs will require a resume and cover letter. Review our Resume Guide, stop by the CareerLab, or schedule an appointment to have your documents reviewed.
- Update your LinkedIn and Handshake profiles. This will ensure you are receiving position updates that fit what you are looking for.
- On average, 75% of opportunities are never posted, so identify companies/organizations you are interested in and contact them directly.
- Reach out to contacts and GVSU alumni through LinkedIn to conduct informational interviews. This is a great way to learn about opportunities and build your network.
- If you’re looking for jobs outside your local area, utilize GVSU Alumni Networks.
- Attend events. The Career Center brings hundreds of employers right to campus and these employers want to talk to you about opportunities.
Search and Apply
- While networking is the number one way students learn about opportunities, online tools can also be helpful.
- Handshake is a great online tool for searching for positions, and have many local, regional, and national opportunities.
- Work Abroad is a great resource if you’re interested in an international opportunity.
- How to recognize and avoid fraudulent jobs
- Use Career Interests in your profile to generate jobs of interest
- Favorite employers so you'll be notified when they post a position or come to campus
- Use filters to narrow down your search
Get Ready to Interview
- Visit the interview section of our site to review tips on how to prepare for an interview.
- Schedule a simulated interview with your career advisor.
- Practice at home using Big Interview.
- It’s always important to follow-up; whether you’ve applied online for a position, sent an email inquiry to a contact, or met a recruiter at an event.
- Follow-ups can be done over email, phone, or LinkedIn.
- Keep track of when you’ve followed up so you can be consistent, but not pestering. One to two follow-ups is a good rule of thumb.
- Emails should be short and sweet
- Follow-ups can be congratulatory notes, emails, etc regarding the person or organization
- It's okay if you don't always receive a response
- Congratulations! You have been offered the job! Be sure to ask for the offer in writing. This will give you time to reflect on the job and all it entails.
- Find a trusted resource (family, friend, career advisor, faculty, etc) to review the offer with and make sure it’s a good fit for you.
- It’s possible you may receive multiple offers, or an offer while you’re still interviewing with another organization. These can be tricky conversations, so reach out to the Career Center if you’re unsure how to handle them.
- Be sure the offer and job are right for you. Once you formally accept an offer, it is highly unprofessional to withdraw from that offer.